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NHS Digital migrates two major services to AWS

Written by Tue 28 Jan 2020

The National Health Service’s digital unit completes two major system migrations with more in the works

NHS Digital has successfully migrated two major services to the public cloud, in line with the Government’s cloud-first policy.

The National Health Service’s digital division revealed the e-Referral Service (e-RS) and NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) have moved to AWS, with more migrations planned in the future.

Both systems receive high-volumes of traffic. e-RS, which allows patients to book, cancel or change healthcare appointments, handles around 18 million referrals a year.

Meanwhile, DoS works 24/7 to relieve burdens on emergency care. The service connects patients with the most appropriate services by displaying service and clinician availability in real-time.

Although AWS is increasingly NHS Digital’s public cloud of choice, the digital division has previously underscored a commitment to multi-cloud to maximise operational efficiency.

NHS Digital said more major systems were being earmarked for migration, in accordance with 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, commented:

“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.”

Written by Tue 28 Jan 2020


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