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Scarborough NHS Trust upgrades to Cisco high bandwidth wireless network

Antony Savvas

Scarborough NHS Trust is using comms integrator Affiniti to help improve hospital performance and efficiency by replacing its core network with a high bandwidth solution equipped with wireless infrastructure.

The new wireless network will give patients greater freedom of movement, as staff can continue to monitor and manage their care whether they are in the ward, the cafeteria or the gardens.

Staff will also be able to access test results at patients’ bedsides - bringing up all results and medical records in real-time.

Also, the additional network capacity will help the trust overcome the problem of transporting large files, such as X-rays. Previously, these images could disrupt the network, which carries essential applications, including patient details.

The network will lay the foundations for additional services in the future, such as RFID tracking, which is currently being trialled within the maternity ward, and an IP contact centre solution.

The new network will benefit both hospitals within the trust - District General Hospital in Scarborough and a “community plus” hospital in Bridlington.

Affiniti’s solution is based on Cisco equipment and includes ongoing network management to ensure the hospital has 24/7 monitoring of the network. The contract for the fixed and wireless network is worth around £1m over seven years.

David Worth, head of IT at Scarborough Hospital, said, "The trust is working towards a more interactive IT solution, which allows staff to be more flexible and real-time in their approach to patients. The network is the core enabler that will allow this to happen.”

The network upgrade involves replacing the backbone with a 10Gbit core, based on Cisco equipment, which increases capacity by over 20 times.

The 2mbps link between sites has been replaced with a 100mbps link. The wireless network will enable over 210 access points across both campuses, giving full coverage for wireless voice, data and location-based services.

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