West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Helps Save Lives with the Implementation of Extreme’s Solutions


As one of the leading hospitals in the United Kingdom, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (West Suffolk Hospital) is a lively, welcoming, and accessible district general hospital located in Bury St. Edmunds, England. With more than 430 beds, the hospital is equipped to serve a population of 275,000. CHKS, an independent healthcare intelligence company, named West Suffolk as one of the “Top 40 Hospitals” in the UK for providing safe, effective, and high-quality care throughout its “Top Hospitals of 2016” award season. West Suffolk was also listed as one of the “Top 100 NHS Trusts to Work For in 2015” by the Health Service Journal and in 2016 was rated as “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission. These acknowledgements speak to the hospital’s passion for providing the highest-quality care with the ultimate goal of being the first-choice hospital for local communities.

Mobility and Security Challenges for an Expanding Hospital

During May 2016, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust implemented its new “e-Care” electronic patient record system, which was adopted by staff across all sites and provided an integrated clinical information structure designed to support all clinical pathways. A major part of the new ePR was the introduction of an additional 200 devices across all clinical areas of the Hospital, including Workstations on Wheels (WoWs) and rugged tablet PC’s.

To support the new e-Care applications and to provide the network with the required reliability and security, West Suffolk Hospital chose Extreme Networks for its unmatched customer service and valued experience from working with hospitals around the world. Extreme’s complete solution ensures that the network runs seamlessly — saving the hospital time, money, and ultimately delivering better experiences for clinicians, staff, patients, and guests.

Covering approximately 600 square miles, West Suffolk Hospital plans to expand the existing network across its main campus and remote sites. Faced with rapid expansion and a small IT team, the hospital confronted security and IT management challenges across the network. Additionally, one of the biggest obstacles was cyber security — specifically medical device security. With a small team supporting the growing network, West Suffolk Hospital turned to ExtremeControl, a reliable and cost- effective network solution to overcome these challenges and meet expansion goals.

“Extreme’s solutions are exactly what we need based on our vision to improve the overall experience at our hospital,” said Simon Gilbrook, IM&T Network Specialist at West Suffolk Hospital.

Integration and Scale with the Complete Extreme Networks Solution

West Suffolk Hospital implemented the complete Extreme Networks portfolio which includes ExtremeSwitching, ExtremeWireless access points, and seamless wireless coverage. By using these solutions in conjunction with ExtremeControl management software, West Suffolk Hospital gained total visibility and control of all the users, devices, and applications running across its mission-critical healthcare network. Additionally, to support the hospitals plans to expand wireless access to new o -site locations (which would provide community services like Paediatric speech and language therapy), Extreme Networks offered scalable technology which would parallel the hospital in its growth efforts well into the future.

Given the increase of applications and devices running on the hospital network, and a greater need for device security, West Suffolk will leverage ExtremeAnalytics to provide a comprehensive view of the overall health of the network.

“We are thrilled at what Extreme Networks has done for our hospital, and we are looking forward to gaining more insight as our clinical and operational services expand” said Gilbrook.

Extreme Networks partnered with leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions provider NETconnection Systems to support the implementation of the full wireless solution. A partner to Extreme Networks since 1998 and a primary healthcare-focused partner in the UK, NETconnection Systems helped design the hospitals’ pervasive clinical-grade wireless network. To assist in provisioning patient care, NETconnection Systems also provided support for Extreme Networks’ resilient high-performing S-Series switches and West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s access layer environment. In conjunction with ExtremeAnalytics, NETconnection Systems offered additional value through technologies such as voice over IP (VoIP). Extreme’s partnership with NETconnection was instrumental in the benefits realized by West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Staying at the Forefront of Healthcare IT

The Extreme Networks solution has given West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust a cost-effective and easy-to-manage solution that can accommodate the demands of a growing hospital network.

  1. Better collaboration among hospital staff: Clinicians, nurses, and consultants will enjoy better collaboration as a result of seamless connectivity, including mobile devices, wearables, and more. As a hospital actively trying to improve customer care while using technology that counts, the partnership between West Suffolk and Extreme Networks is setting the stage for success.
  2. Greater visibility and control for IT staff: The hospital has gained full visibility and control of all applications running over its mission-critical healthcare network, with an easy-to- use network-based application visibility and control solution. In a network of more than 4,500 people, the hospital’s IT staff can manage and view the entire network from one central location. The introduction of the ExtremeAnalytics platform has proved invaluable when troubleshooting hosted application performance issues.
  3. Increased patient satisfaction and reduced operating expenses for the hospital: “In an IT department as small as ours, Extreme Networks has helped us reduce the complexity of our network, making it easier for people to access and use our systems. We picked Extreme because of their proven customer support, and they have been a true partner every step of the way,” said Gilbrook.