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Two National NHS Services Move to the Cloud

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The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) and the NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) have completed their migration to the cloud, saving public money while making the services more secure and efficient.

e-RS is a national electronic booking service that handles around 18 million referrals every year. It gives patients a choice of place, date and time for first hospital or clinic appointments that they can book themselves, as well as providing the ability to cancel or change those appointments.

The DoS is a critical national 24/7 service which underpins urgent and emergency care across the country by connecting patients with the right services to meet their needs.

As part of the Government’s ‘Cloud First’ policy, many NHS systems are moving to the cloud, with both e-RS and DoS the first major NHS systems to complete migration, using AWS Cloud Computing Services.

Neil Bennett, Director of Services at 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.’


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