Secondary Care

NHS Digital moves national services to the cloud

NHS Digital has moved the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) and the NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) to the cloud.

The NHS 111 Directory of Services handles over 16 million searches each year to support clinicians, call handlers, commissioners and patients by providing information about appropriate alternative services and clinicians, across multiple care settings.

The national e-Referral Service has also moved the the cloud as part of the Government’s ‘Cloud First’ policy. The national electronic booking service handles around 18m referrals every year for 1,100 provider organisations, connected to 61,000 clinical services.

The systems have been migrated to AWS Cloud Computing Services.

Neil Bennett, Director of Services, NHS Digital, said “There are a wealth of benefits that come from moving large systems like e-RS and DoS to the cloud.  Costs are lowered, reducing pressure on the public purse, there is better security and reliability, as well as greater flexibility, performance, scalability and availability, to name a few.”

“This was a tremendous collaborative effort across many different teams here and with external partners, to migrate such large systems with a minimum of disruption to users, in a reasonably short timescale.”

Ben Tongue, Sustainability Manager at NHS Digital, said “Cloud migration is a key element of our sustainability strategy at NHS Digital, because it offers real benefits in terms of energy saving.  Large cloud operators like AWS provide significant energy and carbon savings against enterprise and legacy systems.”

“We are working with AWS to achieve full transparency on the energy use and carbon impact of the contract, so that we can continue to focus on ensuring that our storage systems are as energy efficient as possible, reducing carbon emissions and minimising environmental impact.”