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Logo: NHS East of England Collaborative Procurement Hub
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switch off
21 April 2023

As you may already be aware, the traditional landline telephone network in the UK, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), is due to be switched off by December 2025, with some providers ceasing service even earlier. A number of systems rely on the PSTN and as such, the potential impact to trusts is widespread.

In order to avoid any disruption to services or patient care, we recommend that trusts work now to identify impacted systems and develop a plan to replace or upgrade them before the PTSN is switched off.

Impacted systems include:

  • Health pendants
  • Telecare devices
  • Staff attack systems and security alarms
  • CCTV
  • Car park barriers
  • Building management systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Pathology freezers and fridges
  • Catering freezers and fridges
  • Credit card terminals
  • Telecoms systems such as fax machines, switchboard, and secure phones

For trusts with complex infrastructure or operating multiple of the above mentioned systems, we suggest trusts undertake an audit of their telecoms estate to ensure all impacted systems are identified. Our Analysis and Reconciliation framework can connect our members to suppliers that are able to undertake telecoms audits, as well as identify unused lines and recover any rental fees that may have been paid on them.

Your current supplier may be able to offer alternative connectivity, so be sure to engage with them on what choices are available. For those systems and devices that will need upgrading or replacing, NHS Procurement in Partnership offers a range of digital solutions endorsed by NHS England, including the Information Management and Technology framework, the Clinical Digital Solutions framework and the Total Technology Solutions framework.

Contact our Estates and Digital team to discuss how the Hub can support your trust in preparing for the PSTN switch off: estates&digital@eoecph.nhs.uk.