The University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust is working with NTT DATA UK to modernise its vital infrastructure as part of its patient-first strategy. The IT overhaul has given NHS staff more time to care for patients rather than waiting on slow technology and systems. NTT DATA’s Device as a Service (DaaS) approach gives the Trust sub-minute logins, single sign-on and virtual desktops, ensuring relevant data and information is just a few clicks away. The implementation has also brought the Trust in line with the NHS mandate on the adoption of Windows 10, well ahead of time, covering UHL’s security requirements.
UHL is one of the biggest and busiest NHS Trusts, routinely treating over 750 patients per day in its emergency departments alone and employing 15,000 staff. IT is critical to the successful running of this highly complex environment. Technology helps direct treatment plans, helps inform patients of results and supports clinical teams’ decision making.
UHL considers technology as a key strategic enabler and aging IT infrastructure was a barrier to achieving its goals. Logging on to a terminal took 15 to 20 minutes and there was a clear need to modernise without disrupting the operations of a busy hospital and all without massive capital expenditure. As the Chief Information Officer of UHL explained, this presented a significant challenge: “The hospital is a 24/7 organisation, with patient care its focus. So, refreshing IT is like changing the engines on an aeroplane while it’s still flying.”
UHL turned to NTT DATA UK to identify a solution to deliver new capabilities in this life-mission-critical healthcare environment. Following the analysis, NTT DATA UK designed a solution for updating UHL’s IT infrastructure that would be rolled out in phases. The first phase focused on overhauling the underpinning infrastructure and rolling out the first 6,000 new devices. The project required a fine balance between creating a new custom environment for UHL, but also avoiding any unnecessary management complexity to the Trust.
NTT DATA UK also created a solution that reduced capital expenditure (CAPEX) and avoided the depreciation risks of owning devices, through a DaaS model. The deployment of virtual desktops also significantly streamlined the Trust’s hardware needs. The new infrastructure supports 500-600 simultaneous virtual desktops, allowing for the use of flexible ‘zero client’ hardware with super-fast logins, improving agility and resilience of the organisation.
Andy Carruthers, CIO at UHL, said: “Given the project was completed prior to the new revisions to the IRSF 16 accounting standards, a Device as a Service model allowed us to smooth the financing over the years of the contract rather than having a spike in investment every time we need to refresh equipment across the Trust. As a result, the trust could focus on maintaining the highest levels of performance and security with its tech in the future, with or without having to make do with aging platforms.”
Carruthers continued: “NTT DATA UK provided UHL with a technology that gives clinicians more time for patient care and gives the hospital the agility and on-site support to immediately deal with issues.”
The dedicated NTT DATA UK on-site team were responsible for image creation and deployment, physical assessments and consultancy, deployment and connection of the new technology, removal of the Trust’s old equipment, asset management, and ongoing business-as-usual support. This work resulted in a brand-new customised environment – including system images that would enable further support of different requirements across the Trust. All of the Trust’s existing software applications were repackaged to run on Windows 10 on the new devices. This covered UHL’s security requirements to ensure sensitive and personal information remained safe. NTT DATA UK also took control of the Trust’s patching schedule as part of its support service. Finally, additional encryption was built into the new devices to ensure any lost or stolen devices would remain secure.
Vicki Chauhan, Head of Public Sector at NTT DATA UK said: “Our partnership with UHL is a great example of NTT DATA UK working side-by-side with our clients. Working in partnership we are changing outcomes for people in a complex, 24/7, life-mission-critical healthcare environment. We are working together to transform their aging technology and help them deliver on their patient-first strategy.”