The GBP500 million Ambulance Radio Programme provides a common platform for all 12 English ambulance services to organise effective responses to over 8 million emergency calls each year
Providing long-term advice on a GBP500-million-pound project to provide communications between control rooms and ambulances
The Department of Health (DH) needed to overhaul ambulance voice and data systems, covering procurement right through to the launch. Integrating mobile communications with control room networks, the Ambulance Radio Programme (ARP) involved a national roll-out, at a time of ambulance service reorganisation, and required an experienced technical lead to manage the complex process.
Considering that the system was effectively the connective tissue between 999 calls and an ambulance crews being dispatched, it was absolutely essential that the department shifted to a resilient system with a seamless launch.
Starting as technical advisers to the procurement before being appointed to lead the DH’s technical team during the implementation phase of the ARP, we were chosen because of our extensive experience in large-scale public-sector procurement projects, combined with our detailed knowledge of a whole host of mobile technologies.
As technical advisers, we offered our expertise on technical strategies, the evaluation of suppliers’ technical submissions, as well as the coordination of input from the entire evaluation team. The final deliverable from this was a comprehensive evaluation report, culminating in a shortlist of recommended suppliers. This equipped us to lead technical negotiations, and in turn, to support the DH’s financial and commercial teams through the ‘best and final’ offer stage, final negotiations as well as the ultimate supplier selection stage.
Once the programme reached the implementation phase, as well as leading the DH technical team, we also provided specialists to assume project and programme management roles. Our activities during this stage of the project, therefore, included advising on all technical matters (including security), reviewing and approving technical submissions, overseeing the testing and verification programme and finally, implementing the service management and performance monitoring regime.
Once the ARP moved to live operation, we assumed a final role in the project, supporting ‘in life’ operation of the new service, covering service management, contract monitoring, security and technical assurance roles in the interim while the DH assembled its own team.
Throughout the project, we advised on the following areas:
- Control room integration (CAD, mobile data, ICCS etc.)
- Network performance and capacity
- Network monitoring
- Radio terminals
- ITIL service management
- Voice quality and coverage.