Public Sector Roundup: Hackney Homes updates IT

Hackney Homes signs Civica for 1.9 million

Hackney Homes, a property management organisation started by the council, has signed on with Civica for a 1.9 million IT overhaul over two years.

Starting in September, the housing body will receive new contact centre software, online services and workflow systems, as well as mobile and home working help.

Trish Haill, head of ICT services at Hackney Homes, said: "Rather than update existing systems we wanted to start afresh, implementing the latest technology to deliver a cutting-edge service to tenants and improved working environment for the Hackney Homes team."

Fife Council gets GlassHouse storage

Fife Council has teamed up with GlassHouse Technologies on a five-year data storage plan, which will see the Scottish authority receiving disaster recovery, backup and archiving services.

Before, the council held data at five locations with different levels of availability, making access and recovery a problem. "We needed the data to be consolidated to enable centralised management and guaranteed backup and protection against disaster, at the same time having a consistently high level of access," said Roddy Cameron, technical consultant at Fife Council.

Now, the council will be implementing a tiered storage system with data held at two sites for disaster protection.

South Manchester hospital gets single sign-on

The University Hospital of South Manchester has opted for single sign-on. The system from Imprivata will see 4,500 access systems more quickly and securely, using the NHS Connecting for Health smart card.

Ray Burdge, IT infrastructure manager at the NHS trust, said: "Previously, each user would have to log out completely in order for the next one to start their session, when seeing the same patient. This could take several minutes to complete. Using fast user switching, we can remove this overhead to improve efficiency, while making access easier for our staff they can gain secure access to patient information in seconds."

The rollout of the system began last month, and is expected to finish by the end of the year.

NHS computer booking system hits landmark

The NHS computerised appointments system Choose and Book has been used to make over 10 million bookings, with half of those in the past year.

Choose and Book's national medical director Dr Stephen Miller said: "It is significant because it gives a clear indication that Choose and Book is making good progress in becoming the NHS's everyday method of referral. My patients have responded very positively to Choose and Book and I know that their endorsement has been replicated around the country."

Some 90 per cent of GP practices have used the system in the past six weeks, and half of outpatient referrals now go through the system.