Officially launched in February 2017, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust united Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital and Birmingham’s Women’s Hospital together under one NHS Foundation Trust. The first of its kind in the UK, the Trust comprises around 6,000 staff providing pediatric and maternity services, plus much more, to thousands of patients in Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond.

The need to provide better support to remote staff

As a small team, the IT support function for the NHS Trust needs to be able to provide assistance in a quick, efficient, and secure way. Issues with providing support to remote staff that were connected to the network from home via VPN, particularly on smart devices such as tablets, had been a challenge for many years.

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Some of our staff do quite a lot of work outside of the Trust. There was a lot of frustration for users unable to connect across the VPN to us, because we would have to tell them to come into the Trust and we’d fix it there. That wasn’t always feasible for some people.

David Marshall / Head of IT

A further problem was having the ability to accommodate third parties or contractors who required access to the Trust’s network. It was essential that Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust maintained absolute control and oversight of third party access, only granting entry to the necessary systems and data.

Crucially, any new technology solution implemented to address these challenges needed to be totally secure. By the nature of its work, the Trust and its staff handle incredibly sensitive information and are accountable under regulations including the Data Protection Act, the new General Data Protection Regulation and local governance policies. A system that guaranteed compliance and provided robust, centralised audit trails that could be reviewed in real time for all activity on the network was vital.

Bomgar’s Secure Access solutions save time for both support staff and end users

The Birmingham Children’s Hospital had been a Bomgar customer for many years before the merger, so the Trust selected Bomgar’s Remote Support and Privileged Access products across the merged organisation. Now, whenever an off-site member of staff is having trouble connecting to the Trust’s networks, support can be given instantly and remotely. So long as the user has internet connectivity, expert staff can access the device, take control and immediately reconfigure it to access their VPN securely. This has saved time for both end-users and staff, as the team can troubleshoot connection issues remotely, instead of requiring people to come into the Trust to have their devices configured. Crucially, the Remote Support solution works across multiple devices and operating systems. This is especially important as many of the Trust’s staff rely heavily on portable tablet devices, which are becoming the platform of choice in delivering the services the Trust offers.

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Check out the full case study on the Trust’s use of Bomgar!