Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust non-clinical service’s arm has signed a deal with ANS Group for its £10 million data centre transformation programme.

Essentia has appointed ANS Group to the programme, which will allow electronic patient records to be instantly accessible between departments inside and outside the trust.

The technology behind the transformation is Flexpod, the integrated infrastructure collaboration between Cisco, NetApp and VMware, and is the largest UK deployment of the technology to date.

Gary McAllister, chief technical officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ said, the trust had a couple of major IT failures in 2012, which led the board to request the implementation of a strategic data centre programme.

“That taught us a few valuable lessons in ensuring that our core clinical systems are always available,” McAllister said. 

The programme has the objective to provide a maximum four-hour down time for any system.

The trust’s two data centres are being rebuilt, with the first starting next week. The plan is to be finished by July next year.

They will have all information replicated to one another, including back-up and automated recovery process, allowing a “one-click restore” in the event of a failure in one of the centres.

“This transformation will allow us to deliver a completely new model for Essentia’s infrastructure services,” McAllister said.

“The new bit of kit enables us to scale infrastructure more reliably then we could before.”

He said infrastructure is key in ensuring clinicians can trust the reliability of the systems they use day-to-day.

“The bottom line is that patients and clinicians will have a more reliable and trustworthy infrastructure to support the business outcome of delivering patient care, not just on the premises, but also in the wider community and, moving forward, internationally,” McAllister said.