Two London trusts are to deploy cloud-based services which are expected to be used by more than 7,000 staff.

Systems Powering Healthcare (SPHERE), a provider of IT systems and infrastructure to hospitals, is to deploy Citrix Cloud services at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Chelsea and Westminster is one of NHS England’s global digital exemplars.

The trusts are currently piloting Citrix Workspace Service running on Microsoft Azure, but are expected to deploy fully within three to six months. Once fully live, staff will be able quickly and securely access data and applications from anywhere.

“The NHS healthcare organisations we service are faced with ageing IT infrastructure and little capital funds available to replace it”, Aaron Aldrich, vice president and head of operations at SPHERE told Digital Health News.

“We were tackling an inability to scale up or down rapidly to meet customer demands without significantly over-investing in technology kit.

“The Citrix-Azure cloud combination offers us rapid scalability. It also reduces time and spend on maintaining, producing, installing and configuring on-premise infrastructure.”

Aldrich added that cloud infrastructure will reduce the need for organisations to own and maintain large amounts of IT equipment.

“Requiring fewer devices and apps as well as less infrastructure and real-estate will allow NHS trusts to cut down cost per device and greatly reduce time and money spent on IT.”

In recent years, increasing numbers of healthcare organisations have been investigating the potential benefits of cloud-based software, infrastructure and platforms. Last month, Digital Health News reported that BT and East Sussex were partnering to create dedicated virtual networks.