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King's College Hospital protects telecoms system with GemaTech (UK) Ltd.

King’s College Hospital Trust has signed a significant 3-year deal with telephony solutions provider gematech, for its BCMLITE business continuity solution. Provided as a fully managed service, the gematech solution will protect King’s College Hospital against any loss of service for all inbound calls in the event of a telecoms system failure.

As one of the largest and busiest hospital trusts in London, providing healthcare services to over 700,000 people each year, and globally recognised as a major teaching hospital and research facility, King’s College Hospital receives on average 1.8 million in-bound calls each year. Guaranteeing the resilience and availability of its telecommunications system is therefore a critical consideration for the Trust.

The gematech system will be implemented alongside a new All-Figure-Number (AFN) comprising a block of 10,000 new 020 3 DDIs supplied by the new third-party Carrier which is replacing the Trust’s existing 020 7 DDI number range.

Dave Bailey, ICT telecoms manager at King’s College Hospital comments, “Our requirement initially seemed relatively simple; we wanted to put in place a new 10,000 number AFN because we had run out of existing DDI numbers. However, we also wanted the ability to intercept the old numbers, and to inform the caller of the new number via recorded message, played on an individual DDI basis as well as building in resilience and business continuity to the Trusts existing telephony platform.

He continues, “After a full review of the available solutions, we chose the gematech BCMLITE solution because it was the only system available that was capable of providing all the functionality we needed.”

BCMLITE will automatically re-route all incoming calls directed to King’s College Hospital’s existing 020 7 DDIs to the new 020 3 numbers, whilst providing the caller with a recorded notification of the new number on an individual DDI basis. In addition, the system provides sophisticated re-routing of all incoming calls received on an individual DDI basis to any alternative location specified in the event of a telecommunications failure, allowing the Trust to seamlessly operate ‘business as usual’

Commenting on the decision to choose gematech, Bailey states, “When considering the adoption of this upgrade, as an integral part of porting all of inbound and outbound traffic to the new third-party Carrier under the Hospital Framework Agreement, the new internal system the Trust’s Board had to be satisfied that everything in our power had been done to provide a comprehensive business continuity solution for our inbound telephony. Having provided two separate PBXs for increased resilience within the Hospital, we are completely in the hands of our selected Carrier, when it comes to what happens outside the hospital. Adoption of the gematech solution, incorporating ISDN30 circuits from two separate third-party Carrier transits will provide us with a tremendously flexible re-routing capability for added resilience.”

Bailey continues, “One of our main concerns has always been to understand what happens when our physical telephone circuits leave the Trust, as we have no control over this. In the past, with such a complex network we have never been able to find out how all of these lines actually route. Whilst diversely re-routing all of these lines would have been a solution, the cost of actually doing this would be horrendously expensive. When speaking with gematech, we found that the BCMLITE had a vast amount of capability in providing flexible management for the re-routing of calls.”

Bailey concludes, “The Trust relies very greatly on its communications both in and out of the hospital – without business continuity measures in place, the effects could be severe. Having the BCMLITE in place will be critical in maintaining an efficient NHS service and improving performance throughout King’s College Hospital Trust.”