Helping the health sector respond to the pandemic
As a provider of critical communications infrastructure, PSBA responded to numerous, bespoke requests for help across various government departments, many of these driven by the NHS. These are just some examples of how PSBA responded:
• PSBA installed a 1Gb internet link into the new Cardiff and Vale University Health Board headquarters to facilitate the move to home working practices for those staff that are able to work remotely. This was installed within 48 hours and the increased bandwidth means that the health board can continue to support the COVID-19 response remotely. Engineers also installed an additional internet link into University Hospital Wales (UHW).
• PSBA supported the set-up of a temporary hospital at the Parc y Scarlet’s site in Llanelli at the request of Hywel Dda University Health Board. A 1Gb link was provisioned at the stadium to allow sufficient network connectivity to provide emergency care. Engineers also installed networks at a temporary hospital in the Swansea Bay Health Board region as well as responding to multiple requests to support the set-up of testing clinics across Wales.
• PSBA increased its user support for video-conferencing and collaboration tools to make it easier for organisations to work together wherever they are. Organisations have also needed extra network capacity to allow more of their employees to securely access business data via a VPN (virtual private network) and PSBA was able to put solutions in place within a matter of hours.
• PSBA dealt with an influx of additional Multiple Occupancy Site (MOS) requests to enable health organisations in North Wales to operate from other public sector buildings. Requests actioned included Dwyfor, Arfon and Glan Wnion Leisure Centres.
• PSBA organisations are using PSBA Roaming to support COVID-19 activities, allowing clinicians to access their home network while working at other public sector sites.
• PSBA has provided an additional 45Gbps connectivity into NHS Wales Informatics (NWIS) datacentres, which has given the service the internet resilience to allow for the set-up of a GP Attend Anywhere System. Now GPs can hold private consultations via tablets or smartphones from home if needed.
• In the Hywel Dda University Health Board region, PSBA provided increased bandwidth to support the set-up of field hospitals at Plascrug School and Plascrug Leisure Centre in Aberystwyth.
• PSBA is working with Welsh Government to identify connectivity solutions as they look at how care homes across Wales can be used as overflow facilities, as well as reviewing with them the need to provide network services to funeral homes and temporary morgues.
• PSBA dealt with multiple requests from health boards to facilitate home working for key health workers that are unable to practice or see patients in the usual settings. This includes radiologists and GPs. PSBA installed the most effective solution for each request depending on individual requirements.
• PSBA has installed network connectivity at two temporary field hospitals within Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board. The WRU training facility at The Vale Resort and the former Sony site in Bridgend have both been transformed to provide additional emergency care capacity.
Some of the feedback received:
“The speed of services being delivered by PSBA is impressive. Many of our health sector organisations have expressed gratitude to the PSBA team for their outstanding efforts during this challenging time.
Dean Rust, PSBA Contract Manager,
“I am particularly pleased to hear of the success of the PSBA network in supporting the NHS in the fight against the Coronavirus and the ways in which it is facilitating remote working for some of our NHS staff, making a significant impact into the ways in which they can work away from health facilities safely.”
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport
“I just wanted to get in touch to pass on my sincere thanks for the bandwidth upgrade you facilitated this morning. As you’re no doubt aware, it’s a key chokepoint across all sectors at the minute and this is a huge relief. The capacity you have freed up is making a huge difference to us as we plan the national ambulance and call-centre response to COVID-19 with other public sector partners.”
Andy Haywood, Director of Digital Services,
Welsh Ambulance Service
“It’s been great to have your assistance when we need it most.
Keep up the good work.”
Andy Page, IT Director,
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
“Not sure if you have been made aware, Jonathan and I have just been onsite at the Bay Studios, the fibre is in and terminated.
Excellent job and many thanks.”
Gareth Evans, IT Operations Programme Manager,
Swansea Bay University Health Board