Plymouth NHS Hospital Trust

The Plymouth Health Community (PHC) has invested in state-of-the-art communications infrastructure in order to support the delivery of healthcare services.

This new infrastructure was introduced by the PHNT IT Service, which supports 10,000 users across Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHNT) and other healthcare providers in the area.

For healthcare workers voice communications are mission critical, and they require a telephone system that is able to provide a consistent user experience for all workers, whether on the go, in the hospital, in a local clinic or working from a remote site based in the community like a GP surgery.


Leveraging IP telephony

Recognising that traditional telephony created unnecessary barriers to effective communication, PHC began deploying Mitel IP communications in 2004. It was decided to phase in the introduction of IP telephony in order to continue using existing PBX equipment.

For a healthcare organisation with a heavy investment in handsets and legacy phone systems, the Mitel IP communication solution provided a comprehensive way of extending the life of existing PBX equipment while taking advantage of IP communications. PHC now use Mitel 5624 IP W-Fi Handsets which integrate into the Mitel 3300 IP Communications platform.

PHC and Maintel have successfully deployed a fully resilient Mitel infrastructure, migrating 5,500 users to the platform.

The benefits

A key driver to deploy Mitel IP Communications was to enhance workforce mobility. In 2007, PHC deployed an Aruba wireless network at one of the largest hospitals in the country, Derriford Hospital.

With coverage now in place in the main Derriford Hospital Emergency Department and medical assessment unit, doctors and nurses can remain in constant contact with one another while on the move.

Rob’s team is now looking into how other staff, including porters, can benefit from this technology. A work order can be created and dispatched to a porter simply by sending an SMS informing them of the job; the porter can then choose to accept or reject it. Should they accept, a message is dispatched to their manager notifying them that the job is underway. This promises efficiencies in getting the work orders dispatched and achieving faster response times.

Maintel has also implemented call flow management software at Derriford Hospital, allowing PHC to set up contact centres for the internal IT helpdesk.The team at PHNT has also deployed a speech enabled directory, an automated directory that allows callers to connect with someone simply by saying the name of the person with whom they wish to speak.

Mobile extensions which twins a users’ desktop phone with a mobile or wireless handset have also been introduced.