Having worked with the NHS for more than 17 years, we understand that healthcare environments are unique in terms of the ever-changing requirements that they place on their network infrastructure. However, we couldn’t have predicted the unique set of circumstances that we all found ourselves in at the beginning of this year.
Modern IT infrastructure has come under unprecedented strain in recent months. The exponential rise in the number of critical devices requiring IP connectivity has dramatically changed the IT landscape for many healthcare providers. IT teams that were already charged with delivering more for less found the complexity compounded with a sudden move to remote working. The relocation of non-clinical staff to remote locations introduced new challenges, including effective collaboration, connectivity and information security.
We have assisted our NHS customers in many different ways throughout the pandemic, providing networking and communications to ‘pop-up’ wards and admin spaces, rapidly expanding capacity and capability for remote working solutions and covering staffing shortages to protect those customers whose personnel were shielding as part of Covid-19 advice. We have also provided engineering resource to cover these gaps, ensuring the patient experience has not been impacted.
Working with our supply chain to rapidly increase capacity, or rearchitect systems to ensure maximum use of existing capacity, we have been able to facilitate enormous change for our NHS clients - allowing remote working, remote diagnostics and supporting a more agile form of care within our NHS. We have also worked closely with clinical staff to ensure that patients who have felt more isolated than ever in the current climate have had access to information, communication and entertainment to support them and their families.
In addition to our emergency COVID support work, we have successfully partnered on many ongoing projects within our NHS client base, working within tighter regulations as a result of the pandemic. These range from migrating core networks, to delivering on NHS Digital’s plans to provide free NHS WiFi connectivity for patients and staff alike. We are proud of our long-standing partnerships and aim to build and strengthen these bonds, despite the exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves working in.