Multi-disciplinary real estate consultancy, Virtus Consult, has been appointed by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAngliaFT) to project manage the design and costing exercise for a new data centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
It was identified that the main data centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital (HH) lacks the capacity to meet the future needs of the Trust, with expansion necessary to allow the Trust to increase its use of technology in line with the its ambitious IT strategy.
Virtus Consult Director, Jan Ponsford commented: “The Trust is undertaking this important exercise to understand how potential designs would best meet their exacting requirements, whilst accurately costing the various options available. The results will form part of the business case for the Trust’s IT and Facilities teams, as they seek the necessary funding.
“Given the highly personal and confidential nature of the data being stored and the need for uninterrupted, immediate access to this important data, the decision to keep the data centre within the Trust’s total control, makes perfect sense.
“We have been appointed as one third of a partnership with Building and MEICA Design specialists Wood PLC and IT Technical Specialists, Channel 3 Consulting. The experience and expertise on offer when we combine our services are a major factor in our appointment.
“Potential sites have been identified, including utilising a brownfield site within the Trust’s estate, re-configuring an existing internal location and making better use of underutilised space. All have their challenges, but we are confident one at least, will offer all that is required.”
Brian Soulby, Contract IT Project Manager at the Trust, said: “We will be working closely with Virtus Consult and partners to ensure their detailed investigation and survey of our proposed locations, contains all the information and costings we need to make our decision.
“A new datacentre is critical to delivering successful healthcare outcomes in the region and will benefit patients and healthcare professionals for years to come.
“I look forward to working with Jan and his team; he brings a wealth of specific knowledge and expertise, having undertaken similar projects with numerous large NHS Trusts across the UK.”
The contract was secured through the Project Management and Full Design Team Services (PMFDTS) framework, recently created to help the public sector achieve greater value in construction services as part of the wider Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement framework.
Jan concludes: “We know what the Trust wants to achieve and we have the experience to deliver, but now the hard work starts with the feasibility study. The project is expected to last approximately seven weeks, ending with a comprehensive report and presentation of our findings and recommendations.