back to article BT scoops Home Counties chunk of new NHS IT contract

BT has won a five-year contract to supply comms and IT services to various chunks of the NHS. BT reckoned the deal will help medics get themselves and their patients' data on the cloud, and then to "access patient data securely over high-bandwidth digital connections". The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) contract covers …

  1. Korev Silver badge
    Stop

    >BT reckoned the deal will help medics get themselves and their patients' data on the cloud,

    How is this automatically better than running systems in a secure BT or NHS data centre?

    >and then to "access patient data securely over high-bandwidth digital connections

    Just wondering what a high bandwidth non-digital connection looks like...

    1. ivan5

      You must realise this is all the usual marketing speak that has no real meaning in the real world.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        You must realise this is all the usual marketing speak that has no real meaning in the real world.

        I'll just go and ask my AI Digital Transformation Blockchain Cloud and get back to you...

    2. Norman Nescio

      Just wondering what a high bandwidth non-digital connection looks like...

      Probably coaxial cable. In the days of analogue cable-TV coax would carry the channels from roughly 50 MHz to 850 MHz, giving a bandwidth of about 800 MHz.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How is this automatically better than running systems in a secure .... NHS data centre?

      My local CCG couldn't find its own arse without somebody else to guide its hands, and the local acute trust that runs our county hospitals are utterly incompetent (my partner's worked for both, so this isn't uninformed hearsay). So, I really can't see that the NHS would be capable of running its own data centre, even though the organisational work load probably justifies it.

      Not that that justifies "cloud" solutions, anywhere, ever.

    4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      re: Just wondering what a high bandwidth non-digital connection looks like...

      How about a semaphore tower on top of each NHS building?????

      2-5 words a minute should be enough for everyone.[see icon]

    5. Kane Silver badge
      Boffin

      "Just wondering what a high bandwidth non-digital connection looks like..."

      Something like this perhaps?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bandwidth *is* an analogue term.

      It's used in the digital domain to mean throughput but that's not it's proper meaning.

    7. TechDrone
      Boffin

      I guess it could be a bit of CAT5e, a fiber pair, TV transmitter, some random scrap wire and a couple of paperclips*...

      AFAIK, digital signals for anything decently quick get modulated onto a carrier wave and at the other end a demodulator gets your bits out. Does 100baseT count as hight bandwidth these days? Even bandwidth is an analog term. Don't quote me on this - layer 1 stuff is an SEP. If the blinkenlights are a'blinkin that's all I care about at that level.

      * Proven to work with serial links into network management port, not sure if you'll get a reliable 10Mbit through it.

  2. Mark 110

    Face!!! Palm!!

    "Despite all the self-puffery, HSCN merely replaces a previous BT system, N3, which closed to new business at the end of March 2017. According to NHS Digital, "well over 50 per cent" of N3 users have now dropped dosh on an HSCN provider, though the contract is not a BT monopoly."

    So we are reporting a contract renewal? Are we? Hard to tell.

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: Face!!! Palm!!

      Apparently, replacing a single source supplier connection agreement, with multiple smaller agreements (most of which will be with said single source supplier) will save the NHS money.

      This despite the fact that HSCN is internet facing, and N3 was a private network with Internet gateways.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Secure patient data in the cloud

    BT reckoned the deal will help medics get themselves and their patients' data on the cloud, and then to "access patient data securely over high-bandwidth digital connections".’

    Will it be as secure and agile as the TSB backend? Has BT provided such a service on such a scale anywhere else on the planet and if so, can we see it working, before HM Gov invests our money in such an enterprise.

  4. phuzz Silver badge
    Headmaster

    mostly based across the Home Counties and including Oxfordshire

    Oxfordshire is in the home counties? Although, now you mention it does tend to have that air of unjustified smugness that I tend to associate with the home counties.

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