Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust provides care services across four counties in southern England: Hampshire, Dorset, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
It employs around 9,000 staff working from over 200 sites, including community hospitals, health centres, inpatient units and social care services.
Unified Communications in Healthcare
The Trust recently adopted a strategy to provide Unified Communications (UC) to staff.
This is a common requirement in the Healthcare sector, as Trusts are under increasing pressure to improve services to patients and staff; enhance operational effectiveness; rationalise phone service provision and support; and save costs.
Complex UC Vendor and Delivery Environment
Given the highly complex UC marketplace, and the range of options to meet different organisational and clinical requirements, the Trust required independent expertise to assess and recommend vendors.
They also needed support in the production of a Unified Communications conceptual design which would complement the wider digital transformation strategy.
Unified Communications Strategy Requirements
Southern Health had the following objectives in devising a UC strategy:
- host UC on the Trust’s own infrastructure
- provide options for resilient 24*7 UC services
- where possible, aim to maximise the use of existing equipment, software licences, technical skills and commercial relationships taking the most cost-effective approach
- give options for a range of end points including conventional desktop phones and soft phones
- give options for integration with mobile phone services
- reduce the Trust’s ongoing telephone costs
These requirements reflect the Trust’s need to protect their investment, by ‘sweating’ their current assets.
Southern Health wished to phase technologies in and out according to existing investment profiles and Trust-wide technology roadmaps.