Belfast trust signs major communications deal with BT

Northern Ireland trust awards five-year deal for voice and data communications

Belfast health and social care trust has awarded BT a deal worth up to £20m for a range of voice and data services.

Under the five-year contract, BT will provide around 17,000 users with communications technology to support the delivery of healthcare across Northern Ireland.

The services will be delivered as part of a two-phase strategy that will cover IP telephony and a suite of unified communications services. The trust said that it hopes that the contract will help drive cost savings.

The first phase of the project will cover the consolidation of voice and data services, the upgrade of the wireless infrastructure and bringing radio and paging services onto an IP network. BT will also upgrade the trust network to make sure that appropriate bandwidth is available to all of the trust’s 110 sites.

According to the firm, longer-term plans as part of the second phase will include the extension of a medical asset tracking application over the wireless network, and the possibility of making unified communications available across the trust and potentially to patients in their homes.

The trust will also implement Microsoft Lync for 10,000 users in an effort to enhance the way health professionals share information through voice, video, instant messaging and other technology.

Commenting on the deal, Paul Duffy at Belfast health and Social care trust, said: “We chose BT to develop our next generation of voice and data communications services that will greatly enhance healthcare services to our 340,000 patients and clients.

“We look forward to working with BT on delivering real benefits to staff and patients, and facilitating new ways of communication and teamwork.”

This article is published by Guardian Professional. For weekly updates on news, debate and best practice on public sector IT, join the Guardian Government Computing network here.

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