University Hospital Coventry

The Project


Outdated legacy systems in NHS Trusts are common and are detrimental to both digital transformation and agile working.


University Hospital Coventry had several legacy telephone systems that were at the end of manufacturer support. These were provided as a service as part of the PFI agreement. The initial piece of work was to carry out a risk analysis on the current infrastructure and advise the Coventry & Rugby Hospital Company PLC on how it could best continue to deliver telephony services as part of the PFI agreement.


As part of the risk analysis, in order to provide a reliable and supportable telephone system, the PFI took the strategic decision to find specialist 3rd party maintenance services and initiate a replacement telephony project.




University Hospital Coventry is managed under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) agreement by The Coventry & Rugby Hospital Company PLC, with VINCI Facilities responsible for the delivery of the facilities and telecommunication infrastructure and ISS for the delivery of switchboard services. The Hospital is one of the UK’s largest teaching Hospitals with the University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust being responsible for managing two major hospitals in Coventry and Rugby, which between them serve a population of over 1 million people. Every year providing more than 800,000 episodes of care to patients from across Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond. The annual budget is circa £668 million, it has around 1,300 beds and 32 operating theatres across two hospitals and employs circa 9,000 staff.




4C Strategies were involved in the full project life cycle, from strategy, through procurement and project management and assurance activities.


Owing to the number of organisations involved and the nature of the environment, it was evident from the project initiation that a clear understanding of everyone’s differing responsibilities would need to be understood and that a common middle ground would at times have to be identified.


Thus, 4C Strategies first task was to work for The Coventry & Rugby Hospital Company PLC to develop a strategy. To achieve this objective, 4C Strategies met with a number of key stakeholders from the different organisations to gain a thorough understanding of the business requirements and the current ICT infrastructure. The optimum way forward identified would be to replace the existing legacy telephone systems with new supportable systems for the remaining duration of the PFI contract. This would be a hybrid approach of analogue technologies and IP technologies to increase resilience.


Subsequently, 4C Strategies worked alongside the different organisations to develop Invitation to Tender documentation for a closed procurement exercise comparing the technologies offered by the market leaders.


After managing the procurement through to contract award, 4C Strategies were retained to deliver a comprehensive implementation support service including Project Governance, Project Management, User Acceptance Testing and ongoing consultancy activities.


Hospital telephone system




The overall outcome of the project is that the site now has a new Unify OpenScape 4000 telephone solution supporting all users on the Coventry campus. The system is connected to resilient trunks and third-party applications for contact centre, voicemail, paging and call logging.


The main benefits of the investment are as follows:


  • Telephony supported for the duration of the PFI contract
  • Short term 3rd party maintenance agreement put in place, specialist in retaining out of support telephone systems.
  • Upgrade of connect systems such as voicemail and switchboard services for security purposes.
  • Increased resilience for critical services reliant on the telephony solution.
  • Patient safety has improved as the site is no longer relying on ageing, unreliable and unsupported infrastructure for its communications.
  • Opportunity to introduce new features to enhance the current customer service when required.
  • Minimal disruption and risk in transitioning services.
  • Cost of change minimised.


For further information call 01858 438938 or email


University Hospital Coventry

Ulster University
Donna O'Kane

“Dave very quickly gained a solid understanding of our requirements, some of which are unique due to history and geography in Northern Ireland. He brought an unsurpassed level of market and technical knowledge relating to unified communications and demonstrated a unique ability to balance any business or technical challenges that arose as the project progressed. Dave worked as a genuine member of our team forming strong working relationships with, and most importantly gaining the trust of, all of our stakeholders, ranging from telecommunications staff, through senior academics, to our board directors.”

Cambridgeshire County Council
Sue Grace, Director Corporate and Customer Services

"4C became a valuable member of our project team by producing high quality documentation, helping us to understand the UK marketplace and playing a full and proactive role in the evaluation. The 4C procurement ‘tool-set’ fully captured our requirements and allowed the suppliers to clearly articulate their proposals at all stages of the Competitive Dialogue. If you have a need for an independent ICT consultancy we would have no hesitation in recommending 4C Strategies."

University of Oxford
Stuart Lee, Deputy Chief Information Officer
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
Steve Mattern, Associate Director of IM&T

“The project to replace the telephone systems in our three hospitals was always going to be a major challenge for the Trust. We retained 4C to help us to develop our strategy, go out to procurement and transition to the new solution in one coordinated step at all three sites.

West London Mental Health Trust
Trevor Nelms, Director of Business Technology

"4C Strategies has assisted in a range of complex ICT projects, from inception through to deployment, and demonstrate a rare ability to bring together technical expertise with business acumen and tight project management skills"

University of Edinburgh
Tony Weir, Director of IT Infrastructure

"We chose 4C as a strategic partner to help the University manage a large-scale project to modernise the University’s telephony service.  This project involved full upgrade to the University’s VoIP infrastructure and migrating over 5,000 analogue extensions to the new system.  4C where chosen for their expert skills in telephony, the quality of their strategic advice and their ability to manage a business-critical project, all of which have proved invaluable in assisting the University to deliver a successful project."

University of Westminster
Thierry Delaitre, Head of FST Technical Services Department

"4C has played a key role in defining and delivering this important Mobile Learning project for the Faculty of Science and Technology. Their technical skills, relationship with the wider University, sector knowledge and project & change management skills have significantly contributed to the success of this project and its transition to Business As Usual"