Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital has announced the demolition of its data centre, marking a key phase in a comprehensive £750 million modernisation effort. This initiative, aimed at revitalising the hospital’s infrastructure, will involve the dismantling of several structures, including the historic Barry Building, the Nigel Porter Unit, and the ENT and Hanbury Buildings.

The Barry Building, a cornerstone of medical history since 1828 and recognised as the oldest operational building in the NHS, is among the half dozen slated for removal. The demolition of the data centre, which is third in line, is part of a broader strategy to make way for a new cancer treatment facility.

Dr Findlay, the trust’s chief executive, outlined the plan for a £155 million state-of-the-art centre designed to consolidate radiotherapy, oncology, and haematology services. This new centre aims to enhance the treatment experience for patients and staff through the integration of advanced technologies and research in a supportive environment.

The fate of the data centre’s equipment, including its relocation details, remains under wraps. Previously, the hospital had incorporated a containerised data centre, the Mavin Powercube, to ensure uninterrupted IT services amidst redevelopment. This modular solution was necessary due to logistical challenges in accessing the hospital premises.

However, despite these precautions, the hospital network experienced a significant IT outage earlier in January 2024. This incident, stemming from a power failure at the Princess Royal site, impacted IT and telecommunication systems across both the Royal Sussex County and Princess Royal Hospitals but was swiftly resolved.

The NHS has been transitioning towards cloud-based operations, as evidenced by the recent decommissioning of data centres previously hosting critical NHS systems. This shift underscores a broader trend within the health service towards more flexible and resilient IT infrastructure, even as individual hospitals and trusts maintain their data centre operations.