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NHS Glasgow and Clyde awards critical communications tender to Multitone

Integrated communications systems specialist builds on half a century’s experience to offer a new fully-integrated IP solution.

Multitone, a specialist in the design, manufacture and implementation of integrated communication systems for emergency organisations, announces it has been appointed by the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to provide central critical communications system for the Trust using its new IP-based i-Message product. The Trust (which was created from the amalgamation of NHS Greater Glasgow and part of NHS Argyll and Clyde on April 1, 2006 and is the largest health board in the United Kingdom) awarded the project to Multitone to ensure it can meet the communications demands of in excess of 20,000 users and to help it to continue improving patient pathways. The project is a key part of the Trust’s new technology advanced Southern General Hospital, which is scheduled to open in 2015.

Stephen Connolly, Telecommunications Service Manager NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde commented, “In the tender process we were looking for a technology partner that is able to leverage existing systems, as well as providing new tools, to create a single, centrally-based communications centre.  As well as amalgamating and centralising all our critical communications, the new system needed to integrate remote alarm systems (Fire & Medical Gases), door access controls and work with the existing infrastructure, including our AGV (Automatic Guide Vehicles) – robots that deliver pharmaceutical drugs using a location mapping facility. I am delighted to say Multitone won the bidding process by offering all of these facets and by providing excellent value for money.”

Having amalgamated a number of different sites and the associated technology at each, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was looking to bring all of its communications into one place to streamline processes and make it easier for staff to communicate effectively. John Melville, Account Manager at Multitone also commented, “We are very excited to be working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as the largest health authority in the UK. We specialise in making critical communications easy and bespoke to the needs of the organisation that uses it. As supplier of communications technology, Multitone has actually been working with many of the hospitals now in the Trust for nearly 50 years with regards to paging systems. Now we are installing our latest i-Message IP-based communications system which offers greater control over the methods of communication (be it mobile or landline based) to route messages to the right person straight away.”

As well as installing the new system, Multitone is overseeing the project in conjunction with the Trust to ensure existing infrastructure is fully utilised. Stephen Connolly continued, “We are also using existing pagers from one communication centre across the 18 sites. We will be upgrading the communication system to i-Message server which will give us more capability with the aim of integrating the latest smart devices to the system. We currently have the biggest hospital development in Britain with the new Southern General site. With users in excess of 20,000, it is essential we have this flexibility in place to achieve this.”

The long-standing relationship of trust between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Multitone is already paying dividends, as Stephen Connolly added, “We are very impressed with the bespoke service that we get from Multitone, dealing with a company which (despite being headquartered in Hampshire) has a regional office and local engineers which is very cost-effective and gives us peace of mind that the project will be achieved completely as required.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde covers a population of well over 1.1m people using 18 major sites across the region. The Trust covers the unitary council areas of City of Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, together with the towns of Stepps, Moodiesburn, Muirhead, and Chryston in North Lanarkshire and Cambuslang and Rutherglen in South Lanarkshire. It also provides some services to the East Kilbride area in South Lanarkshire.

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