Tuesday, 19th October 2021
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NHS network in good health

UK's largest heart and lung specialist NHS Foundation Trust selects Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise to deliver essential network infrastructure

The Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBHT) has selected Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise solutions for a new Wireless LAN and distributed-core data centre network. As part of a future-minded transformational IT overhaul, the new solution consists of a highly available Unified Access-powered network designed to offer reliable on-site and between-site mobility, as well as providing seamless connectivity across wired and wireless environments.

RBHT has earned a worldwide reputation for heart and lung treatment which includes high dependancy wards requiring telemetry monitoring and caring for young children – sometimes for months at a time. It was essential that the selected infrastructure would meet patient, doctor and guest communications needs not just for the present but well into the future. As an NHS Foundation Trust, the RBHT put out a tender in early 2014 and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise was awarded the project in July. The solution was implemented by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s channel partner Khipu Networks, who continue to manage and support the complete environment.

The Trust recognised the increasing importance of Wi-Fi in facilitating staff mobility and supporting the growing number of devices and applications involved in the healthcare environment as it moves from paper-based records and aging communications systems. RBHT opted to implement a scalable Unified Access solution based on the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6900 at the core and 802.11ac wireless connectivity at the access layer. Due to locations at multiple sites across London and Middlesex, RBHT needed a robust network designed to support reliable collaboration tools on both mobile and fixed devices, which is achieved through a single authorisation and management process for both wired and wireless environments. The new network will have the potential to better enable staff – doctors and administration staff alike – to use wireless devices across the Trust to access and record information quickly and accurately.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has an international track record of delivering robust communications infrastructure for healthcare organisations. It provides the infrastructure at many leading hospitals in the U.S. including UPMC and Advocate Healthcare, similarly in Europe with The Europe Hospitals Group in Belgium, The Annecy Regional Hospital in France as well as an infrastructure and IPT deployment in the new £430m North Bristol NHS Trust site at Southmead.

Joanna Smith, CIO, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, commented: "Having grown organically over the years, with limited investment, we recognised the need to refresh our existing network in order to underpin a significant transformation of IT services and solutions. This supports the changing models of care and working practices across the organisation. A modern network infrastructure puts us in a great position to take advantage of the best technology modern healthcare can offer, and will allow us to more easily manage and support it going forward."

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