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Context and Drivers

Two of the biggest NHS Trusts in the country (Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and  Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust) came together to create one of the largest NHS healthcare organisations in Greater Manchester and the North West, in what has been described as an ‘exciting opportunity’ to serve a population of over 1 million people under a new Group arrangement of hospitals and community healthcare services.

The new Northern Care Alliance NHS Group brings together five local hospitals, 2,000 beds, specialist and acute services, a range of community services, and over 17,000 staff.

The alliance called for the Trusts to rationalise their IT, preventing a ‘two of everything’scenario. With pressures on the healthcare system increasing, it was important to identify how the combined Trusts could benefit from economies of scale and create one shared strategy and new service model.

Key Considerations:

  • The creation of ICOs and the inception of a shared service
  • Joining of two Information Management & Technology organisations
  • Duplication
  • Cost saving targets
  • Estates reduction
  • Limited capacity


Following a procurement exercise, Shaping Cloud – a Microsoft Gold Partner – was appointed to deliver a consultancy programme designed to kick start the Group’s journey into the public cloud.

The Northern Care Alliance’s strategy carried out a cost analysis and provided a business case for moving to cloud technologies that was in line with the organisation’s strategic aims.




Northern Care Alliance

Launch Date:

25 January 2018


Shaping Cloud’s consultation helped The Northern Care Alliance’s senior team understand the commercial and technical impact of a cloud-based model and identified a transformation strategy.

Microsoft Azure was found to provide many solutions to the Alliance’s key drivers, including:

  • Removing all technology capacity barriers and ensuring no capital hardware refreshes or physical limit on storage or computer power
  • Removing physical space limitations, such as rack space or floor space
  • Simplifying collaboration as all services are in one place within a single trusted layer of identity

By moving to a Hybrid Operating Model from On Premise (Baseline), savings in excess of £3 million over five years were identified, with additional savings possible from:

  • Rationalisation through modernisation
  • A shift in the operating model, and
  • Outcome based service provision.

Northern Care Alliance

CIO The Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust, Northern Care Alliance

Working with Shaping Cloud was an enlightening experience

Working with Shaping Cloud was an enlightening experience. They brought new ideas, they’re good listeners, they gave good quality feedback. They were very keen to talk to the right types of people in the organisation, not just the technicians. They came to us with a lot of knowledge. They were coming will to learn about how they could best help us as well as the first thing that comes to mind was professionalism of the presentation actually - you get a good strong documentation at the end.