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NHS Coventry connects GPs to CityFibre broadband

NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group is upgrading to full-fibre broadband infrastructure for GP practices and community health centres

More than 60 GP surgeries and community services in Coventry and Rugby are to be connected to ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband over CityFibre’s Gigabit City network through local system integrator Pinacl Solutions.

The shared network is set to go live in May 2018 and will help transform the digital capabilities of local healthcare services, enabling instant, buffer-free access to patient records and systems, public Wi-Fi, and other digital services such as NHS Choices (now NHS.UK), as well as providing a foundation for new innovations, such as virtual doctor’s appointments and telecare.

NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) clinical director Steve Allen, said: “Working with our IT providers at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust, the CCG is at the forefront of gigabit tech in the UK.

“Enabling GP practice access to a local fibre network will provide instant access to online services, while improving the experience of patients visiting the practice.”

“As NHS Digital roll out the Health and Social Care Network [HSCN] set to replace N3, the national broadband network for the English NHS, it is vital that all underlying infrastructure is upgraded to full-fibre,” added CityFibre senior business development manager Martin Kemp.

“This will not only drive cost savings through the removal of multiple connections into the same site, it will give the NHS the reliability, capacity and internet speeds it needs to transform services in the digital age.”

Full-fibre connectivity has been high on the NHS’ digital agenda as a means to improve productivity and innovation, and generate efficiency and cost savings for some time.

A 2016 report from the European Commission estimated that two million doctors across Europe could benefit directly from its objective to provide ultrafast broadband services to main public sector providers by 2025.

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Coventry became one of CityFibre’s Gigabit Cities in 2014 when Coventry City Council sold off a 140km fibre network – the Coventry Core – that it had built for itself by services provider Optilan in 2007 because it could not afford to expand it.

Since then, CityFibre has grown the service substantially in line with its Well Planned City model and the network now hosts more than 400 public sector sites and hundreds of local businesses around the city.

Read more on Telecoms networks and broadband communications

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