University College London Hospital

Wireless Links Keep London Hospital Online After Arson Attacks

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), provides acute services to the local populations of Camden, Islington, Westminster and the City of London. The hospitals which make up UCLH are: University College Hospital, Eastman Dental Hospital, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Heart Hospital and The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. With 6,000 staff treating over 500,000 outpatient appointments and admitting 100,000 patients each year, UCLH is considered one of the most complex NHS Trusts in the UK.

The challenge

Being at the forefront of academic research and providing medical services for thousands of Londoners a year, UCLH required resilient connections to a number of buildings across the capital. Phil Parrot, Infrastructure Programme Manager, explained the event which prompted the Network Team to look into redundant wireless solutions. In 2001 there was a major fire in one of the hospital buildings which resulted in major damage to fibre cabling and a loss of connectivity for over 48 hours whilst a team worked to reconnect the network.

The solution

AIT Partnership Group’s engineering team implemented the solution using their technical expertise in site surveys, link planning, installation and maintenance.

In July 2008, the hospital was the target of an arson attack which caused extensive damage to a number of areas around the site. “The links saved us. When the cabling went down, all the traffic was just picked up by the wireless and no one even noticed”, said Mr. Parrot. For the next 48 hours, the wireless links installed by AIT handled all traffic between four of the major hospital buildings, whilst the cabling was being repaired.

The result

For UCLH, having the redundant links in place has given them piece of mind.

“Having them implemented gives us a feeling of security as in any sort of emergency, we know they are reliable and up to the task.” said Mr. Parrot.