6PM Blithe: Safeguarding data

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09th December 2015

6PM Blithe engage partners for hosting and N3 connectivity

6PM Blithe provides hosted information systems for the healthcare sector. It currently has over 10,000 healthcare professionals using its solutions in more than 700 locations throughout the UK.

As market leaders in the delivery of robust and effective sexual health and substance misuse computing, 6PM Blithe is focused on providing systems that improve the patient experience and helps keep the health service sustainable. They deliver on-going support for their customers through remote support, the use of a secure file transfer system and helpdesk facilities.

The adopted practice within UK healthcare is to use hosted IT solutions. This model of service has been seen as a cost effective option whilst maintaining a robust and secure service from providers who have been approved by the HCSIS. This combined with a move away from large centralised systems is allowing healthcare organisations much more freedom to choose best of breed systems to improve and support their individual service needs.

Compliant with ISO9001 and ISO1779, investing in PRINCE 2 qualified Project Managers, being recognised for ‘best use of IT to support business efficiency’ by the market and holding sensitive patient data; 6PM Blithe wanted a partner who was recognised for the quality of their service and understood the technical and security requirements of the healthcare market.

Meeting the needs of 6PM Blithe

The Sovereign and Carter Holmes partnership can provide clients with confidence in the safeguarding of their data and the ease of accessibility for their customers. Sovereign is managed service provider with their own data centre and Carter Holmes has dedicated rack space in its north London site. Some of the racks are designated N3 connectivity racks and some are for non-N3 servers.

The data centre has been certified to ISO27001 (and to the most recent 2013 standard in November 2014) for over 3 years and has been approved through Carter Holmes N3 connectivity. Combine this with Carter Holmes, an IT Healthcare consultancy which holds the IGSoC governance agreement with the HSCIC and has over 8 years experience in the market; the partnership presented 6PM Blithe with the exact provider solution it was after.

Prior to engaging an external provider, 6PM Blithe managed their servers in their computer room at their head office. Whilst this had run perfectly for over 16 years, due to business growth and the increasing need for highly secure IT, 6PM Blithe needed an enhanced service in place. 6PM Blithe had their own IGSoC,but maintaining N3 connectivity from their offices was not a viable option when they wanted to focus on continuing to develop their systems for their customers.

Delivering the service

Sovereign and Carter Holmes worked closely with 6PM Blithe to identify both their non-N3 and N3 data centre requirements and designing a solution that met their needs, maintaining a secure environment with fast connectivity and to ensure that the complete solution met governance requirements.

Carter Holmes undertook the IGSoC audit as a fundamental part of the design and planning activities of the project to highlight any potential changes to the IGSoC submission of 6PM Blithe or Carter Holmes. Andy Carter, Director at Carter Holmes explains, ‘Understanding the 6PM Blithe roadmap and future enhancements allowed us to design a future proofed infrastructure within a sensible security framework’.

Once Carter Holmes had managed the full approval process with HCSIS, Sovereign planned and managed therelocation of the 6PM Blithe servers with minimal impact to the client. As a 24/7-service provider, Sovereign can manage the relocation outside of peak working hours of its clients. Once the servers had been installed in Carter Holmes’s racks, full testing was carried out to make sure the equipment was fully functional and 6PM Blithe was notified that the relocation was completed.

A partner 6PM Blithe can reply upon

Now that the service is in place both Sovereign and Carter Holmes continue to manage the access and security environment of the infrastructure along with any routing requests for connection to other N3 end points.

Deklan Van De Laarschot, Infrastructure Manager comments:

‘Sovereign’s data centre is very customer service orientated. We have the ability to access our racks ourselves any time, or we have access to Sovereign’s teams of engineers on site who can provide us with technical support and make quick changes if we don’t have time to do it ourselves. This combined with the fantastic additional facilities that we have use of on site such as store, build and meeting rooms means my team can maintain productivity wherever they are based and our customers continue to be happy with our service’.

Since the relocations, a segregated internal network has been created that securely allows 6PM Blithe and their customers to only access their Lillie Sexual Health Management System from N3. This was important to 6PM Blithe as they are managing their own software environment in the bounds of their own IGSoC. The N3 network architecture was a vital element of the= project to deliver the business requirement, ensuring that it was both compliant and resilient.

Sovereign and Carter Holmes continue to assist with router and firewall requests to connect to N3 end points, back up support, the health and wellbeing of servers, remote access and on-going design support as 6PM Blithe add additional functionality such as online booking of appointments via the Internet to their customers’ patients.

Joanna Sedley-Burke, Managing Director at Sovereign concludes:

‘Building the client relationship is vital for us to be able to do our job. Once a project has been defined, we need to be able to get on with the work to make sure client deadlines are met. From the start, 6PM Blithe has given us that trust, allowing us to get on with what we are good at and making sure they have a service they can rely on. It’s been great working with them and Carter Holmes’.