HomeAccessBT’s business unit gets shot in the arm from NHS Scotland

    BT’s business unit gets shot in the arm from NHS Scotland


    Operator wins exclusive deal, worth up to £350 million over six years

    BT has won a multi-million pound contract to become the sole provider of public sector connectivity across Scotland.

    The Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) contract is worth up to £350 million over the next six years, awarded by NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) on behalf of the Scottish Government.

    The intention is it “will accelerate the digital transformation of Scotland’s public sector including to some of the most rural areas across the country” by providing better communications, sharing of data and collaboration across more than 6,000 sites, including 94 public sector organisations.

    NHS Scotland comprises 22 boards, 278 general and community hospitals and more than 900 GP practices. Schools, hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacies, every NHS Board and local government offices are to benefit from faster and better fibre broadband, mobile connections and resilience, BT reckons.

    This includes in some of the most remote parts of Scotland, in keeping with the Scottish Government’s strategy.

    Bridging the gap

    BT says, “As well as bridging the gap between urban and rural areas, benefits for the public are likely to include time saving with patients, for example, being able to be seen remotely by clinicians rather than having to travel long distances across islands.”

    NHS Scotland’s services include: Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS), Digital and Security, Specialist Healthcare Commissioning, Practitioner Services, Counter Fraud Services, Central Legal Office, National Logistics, National Procurement, Programme Management Services, Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland, NHS Scotland Assure and Health Facilities Scotland.

    The picture shows Alan Lees, Director for Business, BT in Scotland and Mary Morgan, Chief Executive of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) at the Jack Copland Centre, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service in Edinburgh.

    BT Group employs around 7,000 local people in Scotland.

    The deal is a welcome shot in the arm for BT’s enterprise business. The operator’s UK (BT Enterprise) and global (BT Global) B2B businesses have not performed well for the last several years. Last December the operator announced the two will be amalgamated into BT Business, led by Bas Burger, formerly head of BT Global.