King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH) is one of London’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, training over 900 dentists, 750 doctors and 300 nurses every year. It serves a diverse inner-city population within the Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Bromley boroughs with some of the most deprived communities in London, as well as some of the wealthiest. They are part of a collaborative partnership ‘Kings Health Partners’ (KHP) producing world-class research.
A multi-site Trust, their footprint includes KCH at the main Denmark Hill site with its state-of-the-art 120 bed critical care centre, Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH), Orpington Hospital, Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup.
KCH have been a Redcentric customer for 17 years. The first wireless network was designed and deployed in 2005. Over the last 16 years, a further 3 refreshes of their network services have been managed by our teams, with the fourth refresh currently in progress. The original surveying of the varied building estate to identify the best locations for access points was completed by Redcentric, and all sites re-surveyed more recently to account for changes to the estate, which consists of both new build, modern and temporary buildings as well as older Victorian buildings.
In 2019, KCH invested in a complete refresh of its ageing wireless infrastructure and a programme of renewal and update took place across three acute hospital sites including its main site at Denmark Hill, the PRUH and Orpington hospitals.
Specifically, the programme needed to fulfil the following criteria:
“This project was more than just a housekeeping refresh, it was pivotal to KCH’s on-going commitment to improve communication, efficiency and patient care across an extensive and demanding physical estate.”
Kings College Hospital is one of the most progressive and innovative hospital trusts in the country and Redcentric takes its supporting responsibilities very seriously.
Key to the success of the programme of renewal, was continuity of services. This was achieved by:
Specifically, it included
Nick Penlington: “Big infrastructure projects in hospitals are not the simplest of things but in the quality of the solution, the efficiency of the roll-out and the very pragmatic, responsive and accountable way of dealing with issues, Redcentric made this as pain-free a process as possible.”
“As a result, we have a very stable and fast wireless networking provision that is delivering benefit every day: medical staff can contact each other instantly wherever they are with less effort; while clinical care at the bedside can be optimised due to the ready access of Electronic Patient Records, fully mobile drugs trollies and specialist clinical applications.”
“Indeed these highlight the main outcome of the project – our ability to continually innovate in our medical services and help those in our care, safe in the knowledge that we have a resilient, scalable and truly enabling platform.”
“One of the advantages of having worked with Redcentric for some years is that we have built up a great degree of mutual trust, and they understand very clearly what it is we’re trying to create here.”
This latest project is an excellent example of properly understanding our technical, operational and aspirational requirements and responding with a solution and a deployment that will help drive a new era of clinical care.
Staff’s ability to communicate on-the-go across devices has measurably improved, which has had the added benefit of bringing on-board staff who were previously reticent about adopting new technology.
The new network has improved site coverage and uptime, especially in relation to mobile wireless telephony, with reduced incidence of call drop-out and call quality issues.
Enabled guest wifi access and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) capability for visiting friends and family as well as for authorised partners.
Simplified management and control of both wired and wireless networks through administrative access to all networking equipment from a central location. In addition, KCH has reduced its server hardware from twelve boxes to four, thanks to the capacity of the new wireless controllers.
The real value of the refresh lies in its creation of a technical platform that is truly enabling, that will support the increased use of mobile clinical applications, encourage new approaches to medical care and keep staff connected to colleagues, patients and data.
More effective and efficient care and a better in-patient experience have made this a key frontline investment.