Doctor using a smartphone

Why pager replacement progress cannot be allowed to slow down

The Covid-19 pandemic could have taken the Health Secretary’s mission to replace pagers in the NHS by 2021 in one of two directions: stalling out as other priorities took precedent, or reinforcing the need to substitute the legacy technology with modern, more high-functioning alternatives. From everything which has been seen so far across the health service, momentum appears to be favouring the latter.

Midway through the pandemic, NHSX published a tender to provide communication services to replace tenders, seeking to supporting NHS trusts with their adoption through the establishing of a framework agreement, necessary because - as they described it - the Covid-19 pandemic had “accelerated the need to urgently deliver” Matt Hancock’s plans to replace the pager by the end of 2021.

And some of those trusts who have pushed on with their pager replacement programmes just prior to and during the pandemic, despite the additional pressures and strains elsewhere, have reaped the rewards of much more thorough and reliable communication between staff.

In the high pressure situation of handling patient care during the pandemic, ensuring messages can get between the right staff, at the right time, and keep everyone informed is essential to protecting the safety of both staff and patients.

One trust, the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) NHS Trust, swapped their outdated pagers for a new communications solution from Vocera, clinical communication specialists, and reported experiencing an 84% improvement in care response time.

Within the trust, the mobilisation of the cardiac arrest team at the 220-bed hospital went from an average of two minutes down to just 20 seconds; which for some patients experiencing a serious cardiac incident, those 100 seconds regained could represent the difference between life and death.

Adding to that, RNOH’s Head of Nursing for the Medicine and Therapies, Pauline Robertson, explained: “Vocera technology sped up communication and coordination during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis.

“It helped us provide seamless patient care without risking infection, and we were able to conserve precious PPE.”

At National Health Executive, we have worked with Vocera and our NHS audience to research the benefits of pushing on with NHS trusts’ pager replacement journeys, despite the challenges.

Download our whitepaper report here to learn more about why replacing your pagers sooner rather than later matters.

NHE September/October 2023

NHE September/October 2023

Empowering the next generation to lead the way in hard-to-treat cancers.

The September/October 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep. 36
How interoperability can support the NHS's core goals
with Ed Platt

In episode 36 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Omnicell’s UK professional services director, Ed Platt, to discuss interoperability in the NHS, practical examples of where it can be leveraged best, the importance of the health service's digital transformation journey and more.

More articles...

View all