NextiraOne helps Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust create effective communications across all sites
October 2012 by Emmanuelle Lamandé
NextiraOne has been awarded a seven-year project by NHS Trust, Birmingham Community Healthcare, to replace its ageing legacy PBX system with a powerful new Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony system incorporating centralised 24/7/365 Operator service and high quality Contact Centre facilities. The new platform will enable the Trust to implement a Single Point of Access for urgent referrals into its Rapid Response and community nursing services.
Birmingham Community Healthcare (BCHC) provides high quality, accessible and responsive community and specialist services within Birmingham and the West Midlands. It is split into three clinical divisions providing patient services for adults & communities, children & families and specialist services. The Trust runs a highly efficient 24-hour telephone service that aims to offer a single point of access for referrals into community nursing services providing rapid assessment and managing referrals, direct admissions into community hospitals, as well as the urgent bed bureau function for all Birmingham acute hospitals. A dedicated operator service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and covers many healthcare facilities including Moseley Hall Hospital, Selly Oak Health Centre, West Heath Hospital, West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre, the Dental Hospital and the Springfields Centre. The aim is to proactively support patients in the community as the preferred course of healthcare action.
For this service to operate effectively and reliably, a robust, efficient and resilient communications system is a critical element. BCHC had an ageing, end-of-life telephony system with a mixture of independently implemented telephony systems, some of them almost 20 years old and no longer fit for purpose in a changing healthcare world. The Trust wanted to consolidate its telephony services into one up-to-date, reliable system that would serve around 7000 users with both voice and data and would also provide customer-focused communications. In addition BCHC Birmingham was facing changing circumstances in terms of funding and governance as part of the NHS re-organisation affecting Primary Care Trusts and provider commissioner split. There was a need to consolidate its communications and remove and replace out-of-date contracts with more effective support.
David Hope, ICT Project Manager at Birmingham Community Healthcare, said “In a very competitive tender with a shortlist of five, NextiraOne gave us the right balance of functionality and cost, but above all gave us the confidence that they could meet our tight deadlines for implementation. They are extremely experienced in delivering such complex systems and understanding the needs of the healthcare sector.”
NextiraOne designed and installed BCHC’s new IP telephony platform, along with Operator services and a new Contact Centre environment. Based on Cisco technology and an integrated ARC Contact Centre and Voice Recording system, the new infrastructure is designed to replace a mixture of legacy PBXs with a centralised, consolidated system that will provide real efficiency gains and cost benefits to the Trust. The Enterprise Telephony Network supplied by NextiraOne also includes 40 ISDN30 circuits, across which is distributed a flexible range of 7000 DDI’s, allowing the Trust to make and receive calls to the PSTN.
The project provides full voice services including Operator service and Contact Centre for around 2500 users at over 40 sites including hospital sites and community treatment centres. The solution is fully integrated with the Trust’s Wide Area Network (N3 Community of Interest Network provided by N3SP). ARC Unify directory service is being implemented as part of the new solution and this will allow staff to update their own contact details, which will significantly improve contactability. The 365/24/7 Operator service uses one single number for the whole Trust reducing the time-consuming requirement for contact with individual hospitals and community sites. The Tiger Call Accounting helps to manage and monitor the service and statistics generated ensure that the trust is able to meet its target response time for call answering. Voice recording will be added at a later stage to help improve quality through the ability to monitor and report on critical actions.