(Photo: iStock)

NHS Digital today announced the completion of e-Referral Service (e-RS) and NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) migration to the cloud.

It is part of the government’s ‘Cloud First’ policy which aims to save public money while making the services more secure and efficient.

The e-RS and DoS are the first major NHS systems to complete migration, using AWS Cloud Computing Services.

The first one, which is a national electronic booking service, 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 emergency care across the country by connecting patients with the right services to meet their needs.

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.

He added that the lowered costs reduce pressure on the public purse and there is better security and reliability, as well as greater flexibility, performance, scalability and availability.

NHS Digital also considers cloud migration as a key element of its sustainability strategy.

“Large cloud operators like AWS provide significant energy and carbon savings against enterprise and legacy systems,” said Ben Tongue, Sustainability Manager at NHS Digital.

“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,” he added.

If you want to share your stories and/or experiences with us, please send an email to [email protected]