Who is Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust?

Located in Harlow in Essex, the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust is a 489-bed District General Hospital providing a comprehensive range of safe, reliable, acute and specialist services to a local population of 258,000 people. Aligned with its ‘Building for Excellence’ vision, the hospital has significantly changed the way it operates to strengthen the role of senior doctors, nurses, and other clinicians in the running of the Trust.

Why Cisilion?

Imran Khan - IT and Business Continuity Consultant

“We were looking for a long-term relationship based on joint decision making and risk sharing. That’s exactly what we got with Cisilion. Before IT was perceived to be a risk, now it’s seen a huge opportunity.”


The Princess Alexandra Hospital had the end goal to be recognised as one of the best local hospitals in the United Kingdom, where quality of care and patient safety were paramount. They were experiencing issues with downtime on their networks, which led to several challenges. After showcasing their expertise, Cisilion became the hospital’s selected transformative networking partner. This project led to Princess Alexandra Hospital becoming the first UK healthcare client to deploy Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) servers, integrating with VMware virtualisation and EMC storage.


Before Princess Alexandra Hospital could deliver their ‘Building for Excellence’ vision, they needed to address some serious IT challenges:

  • Frequent downtime problems on network
  • Regular use of paper-based processes during downtime
  • Employee productivity affected, doubling up on work


As a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, Cisilion worked with Cisco Services to provide the hospital with complimentary consultancy, planning and design services. This led to the development of an ultra-resilient, high performance campus network. Based on Cisco® Borderless Network Architecture, the new IT infrastructure was specially designed to meet Cisco Medical-Grade Network standards within a healthcare setting, where every second counts. The new network connects 3500 staff, 2000 PCs, and 1000 printers. Cisco Catalyst® 6500, 3750, and 2960 Series Switches link two data centres while working seamlessly alongside a Cisco wireless LAN that is managed through Cisco 5508 Wireless Controllers. Cisco ASA 5540 Series Adaptive Security Appliances, another key part of the hospital’s disaster recovery strategy, enable remote access to clinical data and applications with two-stage authentication using CRYPTOCARD token-based technology.

Benefits & numbers:

Since implementing the Cisilion-provided Cisco network, Princess Alexandra Hospital have enjoyed better than 99.999 percent availability of their network, with no downtime for two years. Many of the hospital’s medical and administrative processes have also been digitised, leading to several benefits:

  • Secure and instant access to information
  • 18% increase in productivity
  • Elimination of paper based systems and its errors
  • 8 hours to 25 seconds – reduction in downtime per month
  • 47% of reduction in the number of open tickets at service desk