BT has announced that it is rolling-out a national broadband network for NHS Scotland in a six year, multi-million pound contract. This is in addition to the national broadband network BT is building in England for NHS Connecting for Health as part of the £6.2 billion National Programme for Information Technology.
The new network will benefit patients by significantly speeding up the transmission of clinical data within NHS Scotland. GP surgeries, community pharmacies and hospitals will benefit from faster, secure access and will be able to share and view large data files, patient records, video links and visual materials such as x-rays and scans. For example, patients will have the convenience of local specialist advice and treatment instead of the inconvenience of travelling to specialist centres. The highest quality images and video examinations can be sent to specialists who conduct the diagnosis remotely.
In a similar arrangement to its N3 network in England, BT will source network connections from a range of network providers who have competed on price and value. BT will be responsible for the end-to-end integration of the network and the overall service it provides.
BT has already started building the network and has installed nearly six hundred circuits across Scotland. The new network will eventually extend to around 3,000 sites by 2007, 2,000 more than were covered by the previous network, BT Healthnet Community Scotland. It is expected to deliver significant cost savings for NHS Scotland.
Tim Smart, president of UK Business Management, BT, said: “We are delighted to have won this contract. It is testimony to BT’s reputation that it is now rolling out the broadband network for the NHS in Scotland in addition to N3 broadband network in England. Both projects are progressing well. BT has installed more than 11,000 connections in England, and is scheduled to meet its target of 18,000 by March 2007. These networks will help equip the NHS with world class networking services and sufficient, secure capacity to meet its current and future needs.”