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Council and NHS join forces to reduce IT costs

Joint working between two of Staffordshire largest public service sectors is saving taxpayers millions of pounds.

Staffordshire County Council’s ICT department has been working with Staffordshire and Shropshire Health Informatics Service (SSHIS) to link the local authority and all NHS services in the county to the same computer network.

The revised network, which was implemented in 2017, also connects Staffordshire Fire and Rescue and all eight of the county’s borough and district councils – connecting more than 30,000 workers across more than 500 sites.

Mike Sutherland, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Finance, said:

Working together to share services wherever possible means we get the best value we can for taxpayers.

So far our collaboration is saving taxpayers around £3 million over five years and we anticipate further savings as we prepare to halve the number of data centres currently in use by sharing this infrastructure.”

As well as converging their networks, over the last two years the county council and SSHIS have moved to a common telephone and contact centre platform, while integrated wifi means health workers can access their networks in council buildings and vice versa.

Jayne Deaville, Director of Finance and Performance at South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:

Historically we have been completely separate, but now hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries are linked to council offices, which offers all kinds of flexibility for the future.

This has been a complex process but the successful collaboration means we can explore other opportunities to share systems and resources and save taxpayers’ money which can be spent on front line services.”