Patients using GP surgeries in East Hertfordshire and West Essex are set to benefit from better quality online care thanks to nearly £2m of investment in a digital project. Redcentric is delighted to announce that we have been successful in winning the contract to provide the network for 31 GP surgeries in East and North Hertfordshire by March 2021.
The ‘full fibre’ broadband network will provide ultrafast digital connectivity, capable of speeds up to 30 times faster than superfast broadband, helping to put these surgeries at the forefront of digital health care. While Covid-19 has highlighted further the need for high speed digital services, it’s not just GP surgeries who will benefit from the initiative, but other health providers, local businesses and communities too.
The project, which was led by Essex and Herts Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ), is a great success story in its own right; the result of a cross-border, cross-sector partnership driven by a number of local district councils. The DIZ secured £1.7M investment from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme and has been recognised in ‘The Digital Leaders 100 list 2020’ for its partnership and collaborative approach. Two counties, five districts and countless healthcare buyers worked together to secure the DCMS funding for the LFFN programme which was focussed on a ‘healthcare outcome’ but has broader benefits for the local communities.
This is an area with both urban and rural communities. The ambition of the DIZ is to develop infrastructure which supports not just ‘smart cities’ but ‘a smart place’ enabling rural communities to access the same digital services as urban areas. In addition to delivering outcomes in healthcare, it opens up the opportunities for other local organisations to explore innovative new ways of delivering better services for residents and business.
The leader of the DIZ, Epping Forest District Council’s Councillor Alan Lion said,
Our aim is to make our area the best-connected place of its type in the UK, bringing the benefits of digital services to our residents.
Simon Holmyard, Public Sales Director at Redcentric said, ‘’We’re delighted to be playing our part in delivering the connectivity for the broadband network which will enable GPs to deliver more health care remotely, online and through digital applications. It’s a vital step for delivery of patient care wherever it’s needed, particularly in light of the challenges GP practices have faced over the last few months. It is also a key enabler for NHS X in delivering digital transformation for the NHS and social care organisations and will drive innovation. Our experience in healthcare and the public sector more widely, makes us ideally placed to use our expertise to support customers in successfully delivering these sorts of projects.”
Dr Rachel Joyce, Medical Director of the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (ENHCCG) said: “Our patients have had to access healthcare in different ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and we need to ensure this access can improve in order to help future-proof the quality of services in the future.”