About Norfolk and Waveney CCG
Formed following the merger of the NHS CCGs for Norwich, North Norfolk, South Norfolk, West Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney. Norfolk and Waveney CCG are responsible for planning and buying local health services.
This process is known as commissioning. Serving a population of 1.1 million people with a budget for healthcare of £1.6 billion. Norfolk and Waveney CCG work with patients, healthcare professionals, local communities and councils to make sure the right services are in place.
Reducing costs is always the biggest challenge faced by the NHS, alongside a need to embrace and utilise the newest technologies available in order to deliver vital services and care to patients.
Norfolk & Waveney CCG NHS had a legacy ISDN solution in place, that whilst it was fit-for-purpose, had many limitations in comparison to newer technologies available.
The biggest challenge came when the pandemic hit, and like many organisations, the CCG had to quickly adapt to working from home.
Specialist NHS Account Manager Keith Hobson recommended the installation of a leased line and to migrate the legacy ISDN channels to the SIP network. After a few months of deliberation, taking references and seeking assurances from Wavenet, the decision was made to go ahead.
The entire project was fully managed by the Wavenet sales and operations teams with Norfolk & Wavenet CCG NHS kept fully informed along the journey. Firstly, the leased line was installed and tested, Wavenet then set up some temporary SIP trunks for the customer to test the technology before moving the ISDN across.
The nice thing about the IP Cortex system Wavenet supplied is that it will support both ISDN and SIP simultaneously so there was no interruption to service. Once the SIP was proven, all ISDN and numbers were migrated over to SIP. This was done with careful planning and meant that there was no downtime for the customer.
As the outbreak of the coronavirus and lockdown started to have an effect on working practice, the inbuilt softphone and remote working capabilities of the IP Cortex system came into their own.
The real eye-opener and testament to Wavenet came in mid-April when the CCG took the decision to set up a team that would be contacting all patients across the Norfolk and Waveney area that should be shielding.
The team consisted of approximately 30 people who would be working from home and calling patients. The decision was made on a Friday afternoon and Keith Hobson at Wavenet was contacted on the Monday morning asking what could be done to enable this and how quickly. The CCG ideally wanted it set up by the Wednesday of that week (in just 2 days).
After a conversation with Keith, an order was placed to increase the organisation's softphone licences. As Wavenet is on the RM3808 framework, the commitment to provide solutions that are efficient and cost-effective is always met. This order was actioned and provisioned immediately and the entire shielding team was ready to be operational within just 3 hours.
"We have been working with Wavenet for a number of years. Our account manager is easily accessible, personable and works hard on our behalf. There is no “sales patter” or “hard sell” and we have an excellent working relationship. The engineering and projects team are second to none. Speedy, efficient, flexible, responsive and always polite and accommodating. The demands and needs of the NHS are ever-changing but we know that we can always rely on Wavenet to get things done and at extremely competitive costs.
It is always refreshing to have suppliers that deliver what they promise and don’t charge the NHS a premium. I would have no hesitation in recommending them."
The end result is that the CCG now have a super-fast and reliable leased line which carries their SIP telephony traffic but can also be used for other data traffic (this functionality has proved vital recently). The leased line will also give the CCG a backup should the NHS HSCN network have any issues.
On top of this, they are now fully functional on the SIP network which gives faster and more flexible business continuity options. Along with all of these transformational upgrades, the CCG have found that their monthly bill has more than halved saving over £12,000 per annum on just one site alone.
We are proud to have been able to help the NHS during this unprecedented time and look forward to supporting the CCG into the future.