The rurality of Mid and West Wales and the size of the three counties covered by HDUHB meant that a high-quality connection within, and between, sites was hard to come by through traditional means. With the opening of a flagship Integrated Care Centre in Aberaeron, the Health Board wanted to bring in a solution for the facility, as well as its other sites, that would ensure that staff could access digital services quickly and easily, in a cost-effective manner.

The solution

The implementation of PSBA’s Core Network Change (CNC) programme saw a large improvement in connection quality at a fraction of the price. CNC is a programme designed to future-proof the PSBA service through increasing the available bandwidth for service users and providing state-of-the-art upgrades for equipment approaching its end of life.

One community health centre had struggled as a result of its rurality, operating on a two megabyte connection at a cost of £12,000 per annum. Through the implementation of CNC, the facility was able to access a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) solution, with a 20 megabyte connection available at a significantly lower cost of £800 per annum.

The implementation of high-speed fibre services has also mitigated data quality issues for the sites. Llandovery Hospital, for example, was reliant on connections at around one megabyte per second. However, since it began utilising PSBA’s services, the connection speed has increased to 80 megabyte download/20 megabyte upload, a 2,000 per cent improvement in bandwidth connection for uploading documents. This has allowed for easy transmission of large image files from the radiology unit. The service has also made high-quality video conferencing between sites a viable option, reducing travel times for those in management roles and freeing them up to spend time on other pressing clinical issues

The high-speed service is also benefitting staff who have moved to the flagship facility in Aberaeron, with all of the phones on site operating via a central core system. The improved access to digital services ensures that community leads can be brought together, both geographically and digitally, in a seamless manner.

HDUHB has also adopted the PSBA Roaming service. This means that workers will have access to the HDUHB network when working at non-HDUHB locations that are also part of the PSBA Roaming service (i.e. unitary authorities, emergency services and education institutions). Not only does this promote flexible working, but it will also ensure staff can access data and records securely.

When creating a new facility that brings together healthcare and council staff, it is vital that there are systems in place to allow people to communicate in a quick and effective manner.

By managing our digital operations through one central provider in PSBA, we are able to limit the amount of our own administrative time and, in turn, limit the amount of time spent travelling to meetings when a video call could suffice. The end-to-end service provided by PSBA also means that we have one point of contact should anything go wrong, as opposed to multiple IT teams on multiple different systems across the region.

PSBA has made the opening of the new facility much easier, and enabled us to implement a cost-effective, digital- first focus across all 50 of our sites in Mid and West Wales, something we couldn’t have done without them.

John Hackett,
Infrastructure Operations Manager, Hywel Dda University Health Board


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