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Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) is the largest Mental Health Trust in the UK supporting 1.6 million patients and managing an income of £200m. It's also the largest NHS Trust in the country in terms of geographical spread, with facilities at 55 locations across Bath and North-east Somerset, Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire and Bristol, covering a total of over 2,200 square miles.

The Trust provides services for people with a range of mental health needs including those with learning disabilities and drug or alcohol dependency related issues. Increasingly it is providing this treatment and care in people's own homes and other community settings, supported by high quality inpatient services that provide short term assessment and care.


In common with many other NHS Trusts in the UK, AWP is facing increasing demands on its services brought about by increasing life expectancy and an expanding population. In an effort to address this growing problem the NHS nationally decided to take a more preventative approach to healthcare, supported by the digitisation of patient information and the more efficient use of medical resources. 

In response to this plan AWP decided to replace its existing Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system and to start providing services to other hospitals and businesses to increase its revenue. However, it quickly realised that a major barrier to doing this successfully was its aging IT infrastructure. Mark Osbourne, IT Manager, AWP explains: 

“Our data centre had developed in a very piecemeal way and was struggling with devices from many different vendors and low-performing systems that couldn’t be expanded anymore. Complex management and poor compatibility was also seriously effecting its efficiency, so we knew that before the Trust could move its plans forward, we had to overhaul our network.”

As part of a three-year capital investment programme, AWP decided to build two new data centres. With this in mind it carried out a thorough assessment of what was available, eventually choosing Huawei as the supplier that could best meet its needs within the budget it had available.
“What really attracted us was Huawei’s ability to offer a comprehensive cloud-based, high-performance solution that included all the network devices, virtualisation platform and servers we needed. The ability to provide services much faster than before coupled with much easier management and maintenance also made the investment case very compelling,” continues Mark Osbourne.

Each Data Centre consists of a pair of Huawei high-availability CloudEngine core switches, 22 Huawei ‘top of rack’ (TOR) switches, a massive one Petabyte (PB) of storage and four Huawei populated blade system servers. Connected using 40 GB Ethernet (GE) links, the solution supports the rapid transmission of very high levels of data, a primary requirement of implementing an effective EPR system.

AWP’s requirement for a virtualized environment was met using Huawei’s FusionSphere, an integrated, enterprise-class operating system (OS) designed for migrating to fully virtualised and distributed IT infrastructure. It enables access to today's most resource-intensive enterprise applications, giving users secure access to what they need anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
The successful deployment of AWP’s new data centres has laid a solid foundation for the rapid launch of its ERP system. It has also provided a solid platform to develop new services that it hopes will improve the overall efficiency of the Trust, as well as helping it to branch out into providing high-quality information services for other healthcare institutions.

Having delivered all the necessary elements needed for a fast, modern and flexible IT network infrastructure the Trust is also benefiting from over a 50 per cent improvement in system performance as well as greatly reduced management costs.

Mark Osbourne concludes: “By choosing the Huawei ICT Infrastructure products, we were able to rapidly evaluate, select and implement our new ICT infrastructure, delivering new services to our clinicians, and in turn our patients, and new partners.  The project was implemented far sooner than we previously anticipated, delivering considerable savings on the projections made at the start of our strategy planning and budgeting process.”
About Huawei Enterprise Business Group
Huawei Enterprise Business Group (“Huawei Enterprise”) is one of the three business groups of Huawei, a leading global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions provider. Leveraging Huawei’s strong R&D capabilities and comprehensive technical expertise, Huawei Enterprise provides a wide range of highly efficient customer-centric ICT solutions and services to global vertical industry and enterprise customers across government and public sector, finance, transportation, electric power, energy, commercial businesses, and ISPs. Huawei Enterprise’s innovative and leading solutions cover network infrastructure, Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), cloud computing and data center, enterprise information security, and industry application solutions.

For more information, please visit: e.huawei.com/uk

About AWP
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) is a major provider of high quality mental health services across a significant area of South-West England. Its aim is to enable and empower people to reach their potential and to live fulfilling lives through providing recovery and re-enablement focused services that yield positive outcomes for its service users and their Carers.

For more information, please visit: awp.nhs.uk

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