Yeovil District Hospital (YDH) has 2,200 staff providing healthcare to a population of around 185,000 people in the Somerset and North Dorset regions. Committed to providing exemplary, compassionate care across its range of clinical services, the Trust has a focus on collaboration and innovation, with up-to-the-minute IT services playing a crucial role in realising its vision.
staff delivering healthcare to a population of around 185,000
lies at the heart of the service provision
Yeovil provides a range of emergency and elective NHS services and private healthcare
Like many NHS organisations, when an NHS-wide Microsoft licensing agreement came to an end in 2010 individual Trusts were required to ‘navigate the licensing minefield.’ As Liam Abbott, then IT Manager at Yeovil Hospital, pointed out, “The situation created a lot of uncertainty around the best licensing model going forward. We lacked a model that matched our organisational ambitions, and to some extent, the in-house expertise, to provide improved access and functionality, while adhering to strict compliance obligations.”
Recent years have seen an explosion in the number and types of device used to access essential resources and productivity tools. When coupled with the recent high-profile stories connected with cyber-attacks and the requirement to protect sensitive patient data from unauthorised access, the need for a robust, highly secure solution was critical to YDH’s forward-looking IT strategy.
Like many of Softcat’s engagements, there was an existing hardware agreement in place, although YDH was unsure if Softcat would be the best provider to approach when looking to implement a new 3-year Microsoft Enterprise Licensing Agreement.
Ian Burgoyne, Cloud and Licensing Consultant (Public Sector), Softcat, played a pivotal role in convincing YDH that Softcat was the ideal partner to help maximise any future licensing agreement. “As with any client, our initial meetings are all about understanding their specific needs, seeing where the organisation is heading and then proposing a solution that will provide the capabilities it needs to achieve its ambitions.
“We delivered an IT workshop exploring a comparison against existing providers’ proposals and an explanation around the cost-effectiveness of each proposed solution. We also drew up a blueprint for a definitive IT environment capable of providing the security, functionality and ease of access YDH required.”
Multiple site visits followed to enable both the IT team and Softcat to clearly identify the full scope of any subsequent agreement and ensure it would provide the capabilities needed to future-proof IT provision. A number of important drivers were identified, including a desire to upgrade the SQL estate, Server and Exchange environment, investigate implementing a Windows 10 platform to improve access capabilities and deliver an enhanced suite of productivity tools for YDH end users.
As with every Public-Sector engagement, driving down the cost of IT improvements was essential. Softcat approached Microsoft and organised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) pricing metric that would ensure YDH could access the very latest technologies, including a Cloud Transfer Agreement, while securing significant cost savings and much improved functionality from the proposed solution.
Close collaboration with the in-house IT team was a significant ‘value add,’ according to Liam: “Whenever we were seeking to identify the best solution for YDH, we knew we had Softcat’s vast industry knowledge on tap. They helped us clearly identify what would be the optimal solution at the lowest cost, as well as providing end-user training and continuous support. It gave us great confidence that the proposed solution would improve functionality across the board, be fully compliant and, above all, help us deliver innovative healthcare to our community.”
Software licence compliance worries are a thing of the past for YDH. The Microsoft Enterprise Service Agreement (ESA) ensures that all licences are current and the very latest productivity tools are on tap from whatever device or location its users choose to access essential resources.
And accessing those resources has been massively simplified. Workers in the community and clinicians no longer need a VPN to simply, quickly and securely access vital resources. Improved connectivity is enabling staff to interact increasingly effectively. They’re much more visible and inter-departmental communications are significantly improved thanks to the Windows 10 Direct Access platform now in place.
The Windows 10 Enterprise platform has also helped to enhance security with automatic encryption on both the device and network traffic. And most significantly, clinicians and support staff now have access to a much-improved suite of productivity tools, which is helping to radically transform how care is delivered.
Skype for Business, an innovative video communications feature of the Windows 10 Enterprise platform, has been a central pillar of a recent pilot examining ways to reduce DNAs (Did Not Attends) in diabetes follow-up appointments. In less than 3 months, a drastic reduction in DNAs was identified, helping to reduce the cost of patient no-shows and making much better use of clinician’s time. The project has been such a success that plans are in place for orthopaedics to use Skype for Business to deliver a ‘virtual fracture clinic’ to follow patient progress.
Liam is convinced that such innovative uses of the new technology bode well for future service delivery. “We’re confident that we now have the right platform and tools in place to underpin significant productivity improvements and enhanced service delivery. Softcat’s active engagement and understanding of the capabilities individual solution elements could deliver has been a big part of the project’s success.”
Benefits at a glance:
Helping clients to overcome specific challenges in, often highly complex and sensitive, public-sector environments is the Softcat USP. With a strong track record of delivering innovative solutions, whatever the sector, built on a foundation of close client collaboration, it has helped organisations across the UK transform not just the technology they use, but how they deliver services.
“Softcat had the expertise we lacked in house,” said Liam. “It addressed the challenges we faced, provided a range of potential solutions and went above and beyond what is expected of a provider.”