Hospital operates with new telephone system

04 March 2020

Set in 52 acres close to Bath city centre, the Royal United Hospital (RUH) serves a population of 500,000 and has 759 beds. 

With 4,500 staff, the hospital is operated by the Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

It sought to replace the hospital’s 30-year-old telephone system with a VoIP system and specified that the replacement must have the same features and more.

With equipment space at a premium, the trust said any new hardware had to be kept to a minimum.

To protect its existing investment, a new system had to be capable of interfacing with applications such as paging and auto attendant.

Another requirement was that 91 “red” emergency analogue telephones should not rely on LAN connectivity.

The trust awarded the contract to Cinos Communications Systems (CCS) which used its Stellaris system with Cisco Unified Collaboration, plus products from Gamma and Aculab.

RUH wanted to ensure that the switch to the 3,000 new Cisco IP handsets could be carried out at its own pace – so CCS says it designed a simple process so that anyone could change their handset.

CCS says the core telephony is installed in two data centres and uses secure VPN connections over the hospital’s existing N3 – the NHS England broadband network – to access call control, voicemail, presence, contact centre and switchboard services.

And, says CCS, the system is capable of providing services to the entire RUH campus if connectivity to both data centres and the local LAN is down.

The trust’s ICT assurance Manager, Mike Holcombe, said: “We now have a platform which enables us to offer additional digital services to the trust and patients alike.  At the same time, the reduction in fixed line and call costs that we have achieved has been significant.”