Delivering a healthy upgrade to a maternity hospital
Calling Liverpool Women’s Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic
Delivering a new telephone system into a busy hospital during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown might not be considered ideal timing. But FourNet pulled out all the stops to ensure maternity services for the Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust didn’t suffer. The solution was delivered on time and budget, with high praise from the Trust for a seamless transition with just five hours downtime.
Babies born daily, on average
Liverpool Women’s is a specialist hospital trust providing maternity, gynaecology and genetics services in Liverpool and the North Mersey conurbation. It is also the recognised specialist provider in Cheshire and Merseyside of high-risk maternity care. Around 8,500 babies are delivered, and 10,000 gynaecological procedures performed, by its 1,400 staff each year.
FourNet was engaged in summer 2018 to deliver a modern, digital telephony system as well as a reduction in telephony costs for the Trust. The upgrade was scheduled to take place just as the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic was gripping the UK in early 2020. The project was delivered on time and on budget despite the UK ‘lockdown” constraints placed on FourNet and the NHS.
The key challenge for such a major IT project was to cause minimal disruption to the operation of the hospital and its clinics, and to allow clinicians to continue to perform their duties in delivering outstanding care for patients with the least impact.
The project management team had planned for a very short outage to complete the switchover and this was achieved despite some healthy scepticism among staff and clinicians that the work could, or would, be completed on time or that the transition would come without hiccups and teething problems.
The old system was removed, new hardware, SIP trunking, servers and technology stacks were installed, and on a Saturday afternoon in June 2020, the entire migration was achieved during the pre-planned five-hour downtime.
The solution for LWH, designed, installed, and managed by FourNet, was delivered on time, on budget, with no hiccups, through careful and detailed project planning. It was a seamless transition and clinical staff and Trust management are delighted that such a fundamental technology transformation was achieved with limited disruption to staff and patients and the operations of LWH.
The success of the project has enabled the Trust to reduce telephony costs and line rental by 50% and achieve 25% savings on outgoing call costs.
Full call recording facilities provide an auditing solution which was not available with the legacy system, and which is already delivering an enhanced clinical and patient experience. The transition to a new digital telephony system also enabled the Trust’s digital transformation journey and paved the way for full integration of a new contact centre solution.
The project to replace the Liverpool Women’s Hospital legacy telephony system with a modern facility was successfully implemented, with no impact to our patient experience during switchover. We have received feedback that calls are clearer, and the system has enhanced resilience. This is all down to how our Trust Digital team, system supplier FourNet and Trust operational services worked together effectively to design and implement safely. The engagement approach they took is an exemplar for all our future digital projects.
Chief Information Officer, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Women’s legacy telephone system was limited in functionality and created obstacles for staff which the new Avaya solution eradicates. We are proud to have achieved a seamless switchover, with just five hours pre-planned downtime. FourNet is delighted to have installed a top-class telephony system for a top-class hospital, which helps deliver the best possible experience not just for medical staff but for mothers and their new-born babies – and their families too.
Head of Public Sector, FourNet
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