Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit has deployed a private cloud to solve the problem of disparate systems left by primary care trusts.

The three-year contract with the ANS Group will introduce a standardised cloud computing platform for 12,500 employees across its 12 clinical commissioning groups.

The CSU’s IT director Peter Moseley told EHI that he hoped the cloud would help join up disparate systems left after the major reorganisation of the NHS and that it would significantly reduce costs.

“We had ten PCTs with different solutions and the cloud arrangement will help us join this up,” he said.

“For CCGs it means we can apply things like risk stratification and data sharing and give them control of who can access what and when.

“All organisations will be on the same network so we can support any new service design. It will allow us to host and consolidate services to CCGs and it allows us to put in a reporting repository for every CCG.”

He explained that some of the PCT systems looked the same in the back end, but that on the presentation level they were all different. Building a common toolset for reporting would save licensing costs.

Greater Manchester will go live with the cloud platform at the end of June.

“The first port of call for migration will be the centralised business intelligence reporting solution. CCGs will become more flexible and gives them access to a richer picture of data and we have the ability to put in more data sources,” said Moseley.

Greater Manchester is also considering providing the CCGs with mobile working.

“It’s something we’re looking at. We want to provide the same experience for users everywhere. One of the advantages of the cloud agreement is that we are in charge of the security,” he said.

Moseley added that the 3 year contract had cost under £2m.

“It’s a major plank in our strategy and we are getting quite excited as we are getting close to the end point and can start to deliver,” he said.