East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

NHS Trust upgrades VPN infrastructure to support increased number of users accessing services with a wider range of devices.

“The project has delivered against our expectations and we estimate that it will achieve cost savings of around 30%”

Why was Pulse Secure chosen?

Active device scanning ensures that devices are up-to-date with correct patches before gaining access to data and applications
Simplified two factor authentication which balances cost and flexibility
Seamless and secure access for guests and existing users


East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust



  • Protecting sensitive medical data
  • Improving productivity with the use of software based administrative systems while protecting sensitive medical data
  • Streamlining secure access in a cost effective way to accommodate BYOD
  • Simplifying two factor authentication business
  • Pulse Secure 5000 series appliances
  • Pulse Connect Secure (SSL-VPN)


Serving a community of approximately 525,000 people across East Sussex, the Trust is one of the largest organizations in the county employing over 6,000 dedicated staff with an annual turnover of £365 million. With increased use of information technology systems, the Trust has seen a steady rise in request for secure remote access.


In common with many healthcare providers, the growing use of software based administrative and clinical systems have increased the demand for more flexible secure access technologies to improve productivity while protecting sensitive medical data. With a growing number of devices and requirements for more remote access, many NHS Trusts in particular are looking at ways to streamline secure access while making cost and efficiency savings.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is an example of an organization going through this process with a legacy secure access solution using a growing number of physical tokens along with an incumbent managed service provider that was starting to become less appropriate for its needs. The use of physical two factor authentication tokens was both expensive in terms of hardware and licensing costs as well as more complex to manage when dealing with on-boarding new staff and updating settings in the event tokens were damaged, lost or stolen.

“We did not feel that our legacy solution and managed service was able to address our growing secure access requirements,” explains Dan Lloyd, senior infrastructure engineer at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, “In addition, it was assessed that an upgrade would allow us to make considerable saving in ongoing charges along with use of more self-service tools for user on-boarding and maintenance that would provide additional cost savings in terms of management time without compromising security.”


The IT department began evaluating a number of options and approached Pulse Secure, the vendor of its preferred VPN solution who recommended a number of partners with suitable skills, “We had an initial conversation with ANSecurity and it was clear that they had the right set of skills and had successfully deployed similar solutions at other NHS Trusts,” explains Lloyd.

The Trust approached ANSecurity for guidance on developing a new secure access solution. Working in partnership using ANSecurity’s “co-driver” approach, the Trust’s IT department and teams from ANSecurity managed different aspects of the end to end solution including the design phase, implementation with additional steps such as failover testing, configuration management, bespoke training to support in the adherence to NHS security compliance requirements.

The project included upgrading its VPN infrastructure to Pulse Secure ‘Connect Secure’ 5000 series appliances running in an active/active high availability implementation to cope with a larger number of users accessing services using a wider range of devices.


This upgrade included the enablement of a number of secure self-service tools to simplify access for guests along with easier moves, adds and changes for existing users. The new solution uses active device scanning prior to connection to the Trust’s network to ensure that devices have the correct updates and patches before they are given access to sensitive applications.

A major benefit has been achieved with its two factor authentication upgrade. ANSecurity put forward a number of options including different types of on-premise and cloud based service. Based on a balance between flexibility and cost, the Trust selected a solution from Swivel which includes options to use a smartphone based App to reduce overheads associated with handling physical two factor authentication tokens.

Across the course of the project, the Trust’s IT department shadowed implementation specialists from ANsecurrity to gain valuable practical training. At the latter stages of the project, ANSecurity created a set of detailed solution documentation and provided a few Q&A sessions to resolve any outstanding questions.

“The project has delivered against our expectations and we estimate that it will achieve cost savings of around 30% compared to our legacy solution in respect to our secure access requirements,” says Lloyd, “ANSecurity has been with us across every step of the process and provided us with expert guidance and practical support and the end result is a securer and easier to manage environment that is able to scale in line with our needs.”