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NHS Milton Keynes comprises more than 40 individual sites, ranging in size from the Trust headquarters to small GP surgeries and individual health visitors.  NHS Milton Keynes IT service is now part of the NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit (CSU). NHS Arden & GEM covers an area stretching from Chesterfield in the north to Skegness in the east and Milton Keynes in the south: it serves a population of more than 4,500,000 people and covers 750 square miles.


Over time, the IT department catering for this diverse business had evolved into a complicated, under-performing service, running on limited broadband and using an expensive lease line.  There were continual disruptions to service, slow or non-existent connections and an inability to connect to nationwide NHS applications.  The only viable solution was an entire IT network restructure.

The work needed to be carried out with as little disruption to service as possible, over the shortest time period, the end users needed to be able to continue their day-to-day work, which included accessing NHS applications and liaising with patients, health care partners and clinicians by email.


Fluid and the IT team agreed on the desired outcomes and the way it would be achieved, these agreements included timing, costs, amount of ongoing support, levels of future-proofing, staff training and ways of dealing with disruption to services while the network redesign was being carried out.

The system we designed was put through a series of robust tests, and any element that didn’t hit the brief was planned and restructured.  Documentation of the process was agreed between the two parties and formally signed-off.

Fluid continued to build its relationship with the business, with regular site visits by Fluid staff and ongoing support.  There have been extensions to the service, either at existing sites or new builds, and these have been dealt with quickly and with minimum disruption. Fluid is now working with other areas within GEM, including sites in Northamptonshire and Leicester.

Technology: N3, LAN, WAN, Cisco Switches, Cisco Routing and Cisco ASA

We engaged with Fluid to deliver the project working with us as an extension of our team. They gave us a new perspective on the issues we’d been facing and how to address them. Once the technical solution had been designed and signed off we were delighted that the project was delivered both on time and within budget. Importantly, during the project, patient services were not affected. We now have a robust system that delivers the IT services of the NHS and allows us to flex as needed. Fluid continues to work with us on this within the support phase and indeed other IT projects. - NHS AGEM