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Working within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), Your Healthcare is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC). Formerly part of Kingston Primary Care Trust, it delivers health and social care services for the residents of the London Boroughs of Kingston and Richmond. The organisation’s responsibilities cover a wide range of activities from District Nursing to Residential Care for people with dementia. It also looks after the area’s IT delivery for GP (Doctor) practices.
As a CIC, it also has the ability to develop the services it provides and to deliver them to other Healthcare organisations outside its main area of responsibility. For example, it now also offers support to another UK Healthcare provider Medway Community Healthcare and is part of Haythorp Healthcare working with Jiangsu Far East (Yadong) to support the delivery of health services across China.
In common with other modern healthcare organisations, Your Healthcare is facing growing pressures from limited budgets and increasing demands on its services. Coupled with the expansion opportunities it is now starting to exploit, it is imperative that it maintains an effective and efficient IT infrastructure. However, the piecemeal way its IT network has developed meant this was becoming increasingly difficult. In particular, it was clear that its data storage network was no longer up to the job. Phil Montgomery, IT Infrastructure Manager, Your Healthcare explains:
“Our old storage area network was obviously getting to the end of its useful life. It was becoming slow and unresponsive and really not performing. We have created a VDI environment for the applications we use, but the problems we were experiencing meant that they were regularly freezing resulting in a lot of complaints from our clinical staff.”
In response, Your Healthcare set out to find a replacement storage system that would meet its requirements both in terms of cost-effectiveness and performance. It started the process by asking its usual trusted vendors to submit proposals but its attention was soon drawn to Huawei, a company it had not previously considered or had any experience of.
“Learning that Huawei was already working successfully with other parts of the NHS, we were keen to find out what it had to offer. It soon became clear to us that its OceanStor 2600 storage solution would fit easily into our network with minimal disruption and could be delivered for a very attractive price,” continues Phil Montgomery.
Specifically designed for enterprise-class applications, the OceanStor 2600 offers a cloud architecture-oriented operating system, high-performance hardware platform, and a complete suite of smart management software, enabling it to deliver industry-leading functionality, performance, efficiency, reliability, and ease-of-use.
It is ideal for applications such as medium to large database Online Transaction Processing (OLTP)/Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), file sharing, and cloud computing. It also offers a wide range of efficient backup and disaster recovery solutions.
Implementation of the new system was carried out by IT Support and Solutions provider MCSA, a Huawei partner with 30 years of experience in delivering large-scale NHS IT projects.
“The installation was completed within a day and the handover from the old to the new system proved to be very straightforward and seamless. As always, we knew that Huawei’s very responsive technical support team would be only a phone call away should there be any problems,” comments Jon Leary, MCSA Group.
One element of Huawei’s offer that really stood out for the Your Healthcare IT team was the option to join its free Academy education training programme. Designed specifically for UK Government organisations, it provides extensive learning resources, simulation tools, a certification system, and a chance to share knowledge and experience in leading-edge technologies.
Although Your Healthcare’s OceanStor solution has only been in place for a short time the value it brings became apparent almost immediately.
“For my team, the system is much easier to maintain and there has really been little need for extra training as it is so intuitive to use. It’s obviously very cost-effective in the way it manages data and its modular construction means that we can be confident it will grow with us as our organisation develops. Also, complaints from end-users have reduced significantly which was, of course, always our main priority.
“Also having access to on-going IT training is going to be really useful because it’s something that, with all the other pressures we have, can easily get overlooked. This will give us the opportunity to broaden our knowledge and expertise as a team which will be particularly important in the longer term as we start to consider the overall architecture of our network.” concludes Phil Montgomery.
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 (UC&C), cloud computing and data center, enterprise information security, and industry application solutions.
For more information, please visit: e.huawei.com/uk
Formerly part of Kingston Primary Care Trust, Your Healthcare is a not-for-profit social enterprise, that delivers patient-led, high quality health and social care community services for residents in the Kingston and Richmond areas of South-west London. Its status as a Community Interest Company (CIC) allows it to invest any surplus or profit back into front line services, where it is most needed.
For more information, please visit: yourhealthcare.org
With over 20 years’ experience MCSA is Huawei’s largest healthcare partner in the UK and specialises in providing computer maintenance and business critical services on all major brands of IT equipment. In addition, it also delivers a full range of Solutions, Managed and Professional Services with expertise available to assist with the implementation, management and support of any IT estate, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of its clients’ business processes. It was awarded Western European Partner of the year in May 2016.
For more information, please visit: mcsa.co.uk