Guy’s & St Thomas’ goes paperless

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Essentia, the non-clinical services arm of Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has appointed ANS Group for its datacentre transformation programme, part of a £10million investment that will see the trust realise its ambitions to deliver a reliable, highly available paperless environment.

The transformation will allow electronic records to be instantly accessible between departments inside and outside the Trust, meaning significant improvements in efficiency. It consolidates the production estate into a four-tier, service-aligned platform; the NetApp four-node metro cluster is one of the first of its kind in Europe. It will support platinum applications requiring zero downtime tolerance through to bronze level applications with four hours downtime tolerance.

Gary McAllister, CTO at Guy’s & St Thomas’ said,“This transformation will allow us to deliver a completely new model for Essentia’s infrastructure services. This will further underpin our innovative approach and ability to deliver against the demanding uptime requirements for healthcare IT services.”

He went onto say, “This investment puts Guy’s and St Thomas’ in the strongest position possible to continue to increase our capabilities and deliver the care that our patients need.”

The technology behind the transformation is Flexpod, the integrated infrastructure collaboration between Cisco, NetApp and VMware. This Flexpod is reported to be the vendors’ largest UK deployment of the latest technologies within the public sector.

Across three datacentres the solution boasts 130 Cisco UCS Blades, 2048 CPU cores, and 50 Tb Memory, 12 NetApp 8000 series controllers with 2.2 Pb of storage across Flash, SAS and SATA configured in a Metrocluster. ANS currently manages over 1000 virtual servers for Guy’s & St Thomas’ and the data centre transformation programme will also include the migration of these services across to the new platform.

Paul Sweeney, CEO of ANS said, “We are hugely excited to be delivering and managing what will be our largest Flexpod to date. It will allow Essentia to deliver rapid and agile IT for its customers.

“Guy’s and St Thomas’ has an esteemed history spanning almost 900 years, achieving frequent firsts in the medical field. The Trust has reinforced its reputation as a spearhead institution for health services and clinical research and this investment provides it with the technology that it needs to continue this legacy.”

The appointment came at the end of a nine-month tender process via the Government’s Crown Commercial Services framework.

Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation trust is one of the largest employers in Lambeth & Southwark with over 12,500 employees and 1.6 million patients. It is part of King’s Health Partners and is one of only five accredited academic health science centres in the UK.

The news of the deal is a further boost to ANS’ strong year beginning following a number of high profile wins with over £20m worth of Flexpods sold in the first five months of 2015.