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Lancashire Healthcare

Lancashire Care


Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust provides health and wellbeing services for a population of around 1.4million people. The services provided include community services such as health visiting, podiatry, sexual health and dentistry as well as inpatient and community mental health services. The Trust covers the whole of the county and employs around 7,000 members of staff across more than 400 sites.

LCFT services are within easy reach of the Lake District, Forest of Bowland, Blackpool, Southport and the Yorkshire Moors, as well as the historic cities of Lancaster, Manchester, Preston, Liverpool and the market towns of Garstang, Chorley and Bury. The M6, M60, M61, M65 and M55 motorways bring 50% of the UK's population within a 2 hour drive. Manchester and Liverpool airports are all within easy reach.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust provides health and wellbeing services for a population of around 1.5million people, including community nursing, health visiting and a range of therapy services such as physiotherapy, podiatry and speech & language. The Trust specialises in inpatient and community mental health services. Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust covers the whole of the county and employs around 7,000 members of staff across more than 400 sites.

The Challenge

Providing comprehensive support service including solution delivery, monitoring, management and dedicated service desk providing a single point of contact (SPOC).

The Solution

Through a collaborative procurement partnership involving eight Lancashire healthcare trusts Imerja, in partnership with Virgin Media Business, was appointed to deliver a broad range of IT services as part of a collaborative procurement for the health communities across Cumbria and Lancashire.

The £9 million project will connect approximately 170 healthcare sites, including those at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Blackburn with Darwen, NHS East Lancashire, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, NHS Central Lancashire, NHS North Lancashire and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Account management and technical architects from Virgin Media Business and Imerja worked alongside the senior stakeholders within the community for twelve months as part of the formal procurement process, demonstrating their capability and innovation in the provision and support of the service.

The health community in Lancashire was one of the first organisations within the NHS to implement an integrated voice and data community of interest network, delivered across a Cisco Medical Grade Network. This innovative technology, now commonplace, has underpinned new ways of working throughout the community for the last six years. In evolving the service the community will continue to assist in the delivery of efficient and effective patient care through innovation.

Imerja’s assistance is fundamental in delivering the service. The first stage of the project involves the implementation of a new Community of Interest Network (COIN) and the provision of a bespoke Service Desk, providing a Single Point of Contact (SPOC), to allow for comprehensive monitoring and single point of contact for the health community.

The provision of IP telephony services, voice and data mobile services, and centralised secure remote access services, are also part of the initial phase, with future phases delivering further services including videoconferencing, wired and wireless LAN services and Business Continuity available to any or all of the participating trusts. During the initial phase to migrate the network from the existing BT infrastructure to Virgin Media circuits, Imerja coordinated many of the logistics and managed any support escalations arising from the moves, effectively and efficiently engaging directly with BT as required to ensure the project schedule was maintained.

Business Benefits

Building on this success, and proven delivery capability since service delivery began in December 2009, Imerja was awarded a further contract in partnership with Virgin Media Business to deliver provide a centrally hosted managed videoconferencing service for the Lancashire & Cumbria Cardiac & Stroke Network. Development of this ground breaking and innovative service was initiated through the award of a £250k innovation fund to help to improve patient services and reduce cost within the NHS.

The resulting service that Imerja is delivering includes multi-conference bridge, recording facility and 24x7 comprehensive support services. It provides on-call consultants the ability to undertake remote video consultations to suspected stroke victims in Accident and Emergency departments across the North West. This is an extremely important service, directly impacting front-line health services and is being watched by a number of similar Stroke Networks across this UK.

Next Steps

The managed service continues to deliver value to the customer, as demonstrated during formal service reviews and anecdotal reports regarding service performance and user experience.