Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Delivering secure, reliable, easy-to-manage collaboration for the NHS in Newcastle

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

About Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest NHS trusts in the UK and has offered patient-centred healthcare to the North East of England and beyond for over 250 years. With 1.8 million patient contacts every year the trust needs a big workforce and as such is one of the largest employers in the NE with over 13,500 staff. Its aim is to deliver modern, high-quality health care, with people at the heart. In achieving this, the trust has been awarded outstanding by the Care Quality Commission for the second year in a row.

Watch Bob Beckwith, Infrastructure Manager, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, describe the reasons why it chose StarLeaf

How Prodec Networks supports Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

With such a large workforce in place, employees of the Trust need to be able to communicate easily and effectively. Until recently, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was using a variety of different communications platforms for video and audio conferencing, online collaboration, instant messaging and ad-hoc conferencing. 

This variety of platforms led to user confusion over which solution should be used, and when they should be used. This resulted in reduced confidence in collaboration tools which some described as cumbersome and difficult to use, many people preferring to meet physically instead. This situation presented more problems as ageing equipment was costly for the service staff to maintain and IT resources were being used to help people with existing tools. 

“We wanted to encourage people to use these services, but what we didn’t want is a whole array of different systems to manage and maintain,” explained Bob Beckwith, Infrastructure Manager, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust decided it needed to replace the plethora of tools being used for communication and collaboration with a secure, reliable, easy-to-use product, that could provide them with everything that was needed to enable simple communication in a single platform.

The Solution

“Being a hospital, we are very conscious that the content shared within the collaboration tool would be around patients, would be about their care, and securing that information is absolutely critical."

After a period of evaluating the options available, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chose StarLeaf as its collaboration platform and Prodec Networks as the integrator.

“StarLeaf ticked all of the boxes. They are in the HSCN Cloud, which allows us to be confident that the information is being held within the UK, under HSCN terms and conditions. The transmission of the data to the HSCN Cloud is also secure. The other thing that was very important to us was reliability. StarLeaf offer 99.999% uptime and this was a key factor in choosing them.

“We have a number of use cases for StarLeaf,” explained Bob.  “Just to name a few. One is the major incident planning, and communication is absolutely key during those scenarios. We use it in IT, as priority 1 incident management. We have a fetal medicine service, which uses StarLeaf extensively. We have British Sign Language interpreter services, which was an existing system that used StarLeaf. MDTs, multidisciplinary teams, they have all now had room upgrades with multiple screens and StarLeaf installed to help them with their conversations. We have a number of remote clinics outside the Trust with patients. So we now deliver that service remotely using StarLeaf, and for town hall type meetings, meetings with lots of participants.

The Results

“Initially user adoption was steady. When COVID-19 hit and everyone was looking at practising social distancing, working remotely where possible, the need to communicate when you’re not in the same physical room rocketed. StarLeaf was there, it was well established from an infrastructure perspective. We saw the usage escalate from, maybe, 2000 minutes a day to 65,000 minutes a day.

As of May, 2020, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had 40% of its entire 13000 employees online and actively using StarLeaf for secure, communication and collaboration.

Prodec Networks is proud to have been selected as the trusted integrator for this hugely successful project. Its team of highly skilled communication technology experts and audiovisual engineers worked meticulously to ensure all parts of the project ran smoothly and with minimal disruption to the customer.  

Prodec works closely with StarLeaf to continue supporting Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and other NHS Trusts across the UK, by providing reliable, secure and scalable technology solutions which help to enable the amazing work they do every day.  

Customer Feedback

“I would certainly recommend StarLeaf, and as long as the network and the user base is on board, it should be a success.

“This technology in part of day-to-day working now and is enabling the new world of agile working which the whole country is now entering”

Bob Beckwith

Infrastructure Manager

Learn more about the technology behind Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's success

StarLeaf

The StarLeaf system installed by Prodec Networks is a service specifically designed for the NHS and HSCN. As the HSCN doesn't have a centralised video conferencing service, StarLeaf set up a cloud server specifically for this application which a number of trusts are already using for MDT meetings. This build consilidates communications platforms in a reliable and robust system which is secure, compliant and works with existing third party hardware and applications.

More on StarLeaf

StarLeaf's cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration solutions deliver real value to your organisation. StarLeaf gives your employees the tools they need to work faster and smarter, to collaborate more easily, and to make better, more informed decisions.

Learn more