NHS IT, Records and Data

27.01.20

Two major NHS services complete ‘Cloud first’ migration

The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) and NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) are the latest in public services to complete their move to the cloud, making services more efficient and secure.

Around 18 million referrals are dealt with each year through the e-RS system, designed for patients to book, cancel or change healthcare appointments.

The national electronic booking service, that gives patients more control over details of their appointments, has now moved completely to the cloud.

The DoS works 24/7 to provide critical national care that supports and relieves emergency care services across the country, by connecting patients with the appropriate services to meet their needs.

The two NHS systems are among the first major systems to complete migration to the cloud, following the Government’s ‘Cloud First’ policy, aimed at reducing cost and boosting efficiency and security among public services.

Neil Bennett, Director of Services at NHS Digital, said:

“There are a wealth of benefits that come from moving large systems like e-RS and DoS to the cloud.  Costs are lowered, reducing pressure on the public purse, there is better security and reliability, as well as greater flexibility, performance, scalability and availability, to name a few.

“This was a tremendous collaborative effort across many different teams here and with external partners, to migrate such large systems with a minimum of disruption to users, in a reasonably short timescale.”

 Ben Tongue, Sustainability Manager at NHS Digital, said:

“Cloud migration is a key element of our sustainability strategy at NHS Digital, because it offers real benefits in terms of energy saving.  Large cloud operators like AWS provide significant energy and carbon savings against enterprise and legacy systems.  

“We are working with AWS to achieve full transparency on the energy use and carbon impact of the contract, so that we can continue to focus on ensuring that our storage systems are as energy efficient as possible, reducing carbon emissions and minimising environmental impact.”

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