Savant and Interoute deliver complex Oracle upgrade project for NHS Blood and Transplant


Interoute helps migrate 70GB raw medical data for lifesaving NHS system

Interoute has announced its support of UK software engineering company, Savant, in successfully completing an Oracle upgrade project for the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Hematos IIG System.

The NHSBT collects around two million blood donations and 3,500 organs a year transforming thousands of lives. The underlying database, essential for maintaining the life-saving services of the NHSBT’s Hematos system, needed a complex hardware platform migration as well as an upgrade from Oracle9i to Oracle 11g. Savant worked with Interoute for its Oracle expertise in order to ensure nationwide access to the critical bloodwork system was maintained throughout the project.

Savant is the exclusive UK re-seller of specialist laboratory management system, Hematos IIG, which is vital to the NHSBT and is used by specialist blood, tissue and stem cell testing and typing organisations using a supported version of Oracle for its back-end database. The system handles patient and donor testing, cross matching and reporting, stem cell and cord blood product collection, processing and distribution, as well as the maintenance of a searchable registry of potential donors.

Stephen Edge, Savant’s project manager, said: “Successfully upgrading our Oracle database meant migrating the system with minimal disruption to the Hematos IIG service. From a technical point of view, it was a very ambitious project, which is why we brought Interoute’s expertise on board. Interoute integrated seamlessly with our own IT team to provide the expertise we needed to deliver the project, updating us on the relevant new features of Oracle 11g and guiding us through the upgrade from start to finish with confidence.”

Neil Downing, UK regional manager at Interoute, added: “NHSBT specialist labs rely heavily on this vital solution, so it was essential for us at Interoute to ensure the upgraded system would work immediately, without any usability issues. Interoute’s expert Oracle consultancy and monitoring solution met a skills need for Savant and together we’ve ensured the migration hit all of its objectives on time. The new database architecture is more stable, offers better data availability and reduced downtime for Savant and the NHSBT, which is essential for ensuring patients receive a better service and quick results.”

Savant and Interoute took a united approach in the planning, preparation and execution of the migration. Interoute leveraged its expertise to help Savant make the most of the new features of Oracle 11g, and build a new design which surpasses the performance of the original system. 70GB of raw medical data was migrated in over 40 distinct batches, running in up to 10 parallel streams so that the tight downtime window was not exceeded.

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The new database now provides greater availability of data for management reporting and business testing purposes, whilst minimising Oracle license and support costs for the NHSBT. As part of the project Interoute also provided full systems documentation to both Savant and NHSBT and trained Savant’s team to provide ongoing database support.