“We’re confident that the systems will be available when they’re needed in order for us to focus on our objectives which is saving and improving patients’ lives.” – Aaron Powell, Chief Digital Officer at NHSBT
As the sole provider of blood and tissues to hospitals in England and of organs for transplant to the UK, NHS Blood and Transplant delivers an essential service, saving lives on a daily basis. It is essential that their IT infrastructure remains secure and resilient, in order to reliably support their day-to-day operations.
Like many organisations, NHSBT invested in a data centre in order to effectively manage their data and services, though as technology moved on and the requirements became increasingly complicated, it became apparent that they could never invest in their own data centre the way they would need to in order to keep it secure and resilient.
Aaron Powell, Chief Digital Officer at NHSBT said: “We partnered with SCC to move our data centre to their locations, knowing that would give us more resilience and more confidence around our data centres overall, as well as adding some flexibility to increase or reduce our capacity over time as we need to.
“We as an organisation aren’t in the business of running data centres. We shouldn’t have to be – it’s almost a distraction from our core work, which is developing systems and services that enable hospitals throughout the UK to save and improve patients’ lives.
“We chose SCC because we wanted a partner who had experience of moving this type of data centre before. We wanted to know that someone had been there, done it and got the T-shirt in a way that we hadn’t. We needed their experience and professionalism so that our systems would be moved as safely as possible and be back online as soon as possible with minimal disruption to service.
“SCC was able to work with us to help us understand the options, and the risk of these options, in order to help us ensure that the decision we came to was the one that best suited the criticality of our operations.
“The data centres that we now have run all of our critical systems, whether that be the applications we use for processing blood or organs, or the more normal back office systems like email and other systems you would expect in an office.
“Having resilient data centres gives us confidence that the service is running effectively and that they’re being monitored.”
At any given time, NHSBT staff need visibility of exactly where blood products are, exactly where they’ve been and exactly who they’ve gone to, so it is critical this information is available and trackable without disruption to service.
“Our data centre move went extremely well, and that’s the result of meticulous planning over many months working closely with SCC”