CCTV and VoIP piggybacking on £530m N3 health project
Essex NHS Strategic Health Authority (SHA) hopes to slash its networking costs with a multimillion pound voice video and data network linking 580 sites.
It will use BT's N3 network, already being built for the NHS, to link up all of the county's hospitals, GP practices, the ambulance service and other offices.
N3 is nationally funded but NHS organisations can add extra applications if they wish, with Essex one of the first to do so. The SHA plans to offer a countywide IP telephony system and use the network for videoconferencing and CCTV.
Janette Leonard, national programme director for Essex Infrastructure Trust, said N3 offers significant cost benefits over its predecessor - even more so because it is designed for voice and data services.
And NHS Connecting for Health COO, Gordon Hextall, said in a statement: "I hope the initiative shown in Essex will be followed by many more across the country."
BT was awarded the seven-year £530m N3 contract in 2004 and has now installed nearly 14,000 connections.