Coventry has become one of the first cities in the UK to connect the majority of its GP practices to a Gigabit City network, offering world-class connectivity to staff and patients.
Gigabit City builder CityFibre is working in partnership with systems integrator, Pinacl Solutions, to connect 62 of the region’s doctors’ surgeries and community health centres to their very own next-generation full-fibre network.
With connections expected to go live in May, this shared digital infrastructure capable of ultrafast internet speeds is set to benefit approximately 340,000 people across Coventry by transforming the digital capabilities of local healthcare services. The network will also provide the necessary foundation for innovations such as virtual appointments and telecare.
Healthcare professionals can also benefit from instant, buffer-free access to patient records and systems, improving the experience of both patients and practitioners while healthcare facilities will be able to offer patients better access to Wi-Fi and other digital services such as NHS Choices and NHS applications.
Martin Kemp from CityFibre, said: “We’re really pleased to see NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) upgrade to a full-fibre infrastructure – this represents real investment into building an NHS that is fit for the future by creating the necessary foundations for digital health and care innovation.
“As NHS Digital roll out the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) set to replace N3, the national broadband network for the English National Health Service, it is vital that all underlying infrastructure is upgraded to full-fibre. This will not only drive cost savings through the removal of multiple connections into the same site, it will give the NHS the reliability, capacity and internet speeds it needs to transform services in the digital age.”
Full-fibre connectivity is high on the current NHS digital agenda and has been linked to increased productivity and innovation as well as efficiency and cost savings. A 2016 report from the European Commission also estimated that 2 million doctors and over 2.5 million patients in hospitals across Europe could benefit directly from their objective to provide ultrafast connectivity to main providers of public services by 2025.
Dr Steve Allen, Clinical Director at NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG said, “Working with our IT providers at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust, the CCG is at the forefront of gigabit tech in the UK. Enabling GP practice access to a local fibre network will provide instant access to online services, whilst improving the experience of patients visiting the practice.”
Councillor Richard Brown, Coventry City Council, said: “The development of digital technology is a real opportunity to drive forward the agenda for better integration of health and social care. A digital infrastructure that enables Coventry GP’s to access gigabit capability unlocks the potential for them to communicate smartly with a host of healthcare stakeholders and most importantly, patients. Coventry, as a Gigabit City will be at the forefront of this initiative. Its citizens deserve nothing less.”
Mark Lowe, Strategic Director at Pinacl, commented: “We were delighted to be chosen to deliver this fibre network across Coventry with CityFibre. We are certain this next-generation network will be the first of many across the NHS.”
Coventry has been a Gigabit City since 2014, since then CityFibre has welcomed over 400 public sector sites and hundreds of businesses to the full-fibre network and expects to welcome more as the digital environment continues to evolve. To find out more about Coventry’s gigabit project visit cityfibre.com/coventry.