Terrafix To Provide NHS With In-Ambulance Mobile Data Systems

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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An £8.1m deal is to see the British mobile computing firm supply technology for communications between ambulances and control rooms

Juniper NetworksBritish mobile computing firm Terrafix has signed an two-year, £8.1 million deal with the Department of Health (DoH) for an in-vehicle mobile data system for ambulances.

Terrafix is to work on the Mobile Data and Vehicle Solution Programme (MDVS), part of the Ambulance Radio Programme (ARP), which is to run alongside the upcoming 4G-based Emergency Services Network (ESN).

The DoH and Terrafix have the option of extending the arrangement for another two years and expanding its scope from NHS ambulance services in England to the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust and the Scottish Ambulance Service Board.

Terrafix is to supply a mobilisation application for communications between ambulances and control rooms, and which could be extended for use by nurses, GPs and community responders.

High-tech control rooms

The firm won a deal in 2015 to supply the Scottish Ambulance Service with a communications system in the initial phase of its Ambulance Telehealth Programme.

Earlier this year the DoH said it had signed an £8.2m deal with Austria’s Frequentis to provide control room software for 11 trusts in England as part of the ARP.

The programme aims to update ambulance services’ control rooms and mobile data systems as the contracts that support existing technologies expire over the next three years. It is separate from the ESN, successor to the current Airwave network.

Last month the Home Office awarded Samsung a contract to supply 250,000 toughened handsets offering mobile data, live streamed video and other features for emergency services under the £1.2bn ESN, which is to use E3’s 4G network.

In April the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said delays to the ESN could see existing services “switched off” before the new network is in place.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has called the Home Office’s approach to the ESN “high risk” due to the use of untried technology and an ambitious implrementation schedule.

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