Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is implementing a private cloud solution that will allow it to host systems for other trusts.

It is also launching its own ‘app store’, where clinicians can get access to a variety of IT systems.

The trust hopes the five-year contract with ANS Group will help it respond more quickly to clinicians’ needs.

The package includes a multi-tenancy infrastructure package, meaning Pennine will be able to host systems for other organisations.

Christine Walters, Pennine’s associate director of IM&T, said the cloud solution will open up new possibilities.

“It allows us to do more things like hosting systems for other trusts. At the moment we’re in procurement for an electronic document management solution and we’ve been able to include Bolton NHS Foundation Trust,” she said.

“If they want us to host their infrastructure, we will be able to. It’s about working collaboratively.”

The trust is planning a rapid deployment of its new systems, which include virtual desktop infrastructure and a self-service portal.

“We’re intending to implement the whole package, including the virtual desktop over the next six months,” she said.

ANS is also installing further virtualisation services for each hospital’s individual clinical systems, which will run in tandem with the wider trust infrastructure.

Walters added that for clinicians it means that no matter what computer they log-on with, they will get the same view, with their previous session saved.

Walters explained that the new ‘app store’ is very similar to Amazon. “If you go on to Amazon and look for a DVD, it will show you what’s available to buy and how much it costs, you put it in your basket and pay for it,” she said.

“If a doctor logs on to our portal, they will be able to see what systems they have got access to, and if there’s a cost to it, it will show the cost.

"They put it in the basket and if he is authorised to use it, it will be available right away. If they need approval from someone, it will automatically be emailed to the approver.”