15 January 2010,

Oldham LIFT - Integrated Care Centre Saves Energy with New IT

NHS Oldham estimates it will cut £41,000 from its annual electricity bill through automated shutdowns and more efficient computers.

The primary care trust has calculated the saving for 350 desktop computers in its new Integrated Care Centre, installed by Computacenter as part of the firm's £2.68m contract with the trust. Oldham has implemented 1E's Power and Patch Management software, which includes NightWatchman and Wake-on-LAN software.

"If we have to do a fix, that can be done of an evening," said the trust's executive director of finance Steve Sutcliffe, as computers can be turned off remotely, but also switched on for software updates.

The computer network is monitored remotely by Computacenter, including use of Microsoft's System Centre Configuration Manager to maintain a standard operating system on desktops and change their software.

The remote monitoring often allows problems to be spotted and resolved overnight, Sutcliffe said, adding: "We've now got a much more secure and robust network. We're not having the problems we had before in IT failures."

The centre has also become the trust's second headquarters site for the purposes of business continuity, and has taken advantage of its location next to Oldham Council's main offices by linking directly to its network.

Sutcliffe said the new computer system is also allowing more flexible working, so clinicians making home visits do not have to come into the office at the start of the day.

The centre, which opened in October, houses about 500 health service staff from the primary care trust, the local mental health trust, out of hours GPs and Pennine Acute Hospital. It offers a wide range of services, including five GP practices, a minor injuries centre, X-ray facilities, nine dental chairs, audiology services, rooms for minor operations and a pharmacy.

It aims to provide a one stop service for orthopaedics, rheumatology and urology, Sutcliffe said, adding: "We want patients to have the best service they can, in a location that is as convenient as possible."

The trust believes the nine storey centre, which was built through Community 1st Oldham Limited LIFTCo is the largest health centre in the country. As well as supporting greener computing, it is heated with biofuels.

For further information please contact: Anna Sarginson - asarginson@community1stoldham.co.uk Tel: 0161 831 9722