Guidance for NHS Trusts Adopting AWS Cloud Services - Guidance for NHS Trusts Adopting AWS Cloud Services

Guidance for NHS Trusts Adopting AWS Cloud Services

Publication date: October 28, 2021 (Document history)

This whitepaper is an introductory guide on the opportunities and key considerations for NHS Trusts preparing for migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS). This paper is intended to brief chief information officers (CIOs), chief executive officers (CEOs), chief clinical informatics officers (CCIOs), chief technology officers (CTOs), and other senior NHS leaders.

This document is closely aligned to the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF). The AWS CAF helps organisations understand how cloud adoption transforms the way they work, and provides the structure necessary to identify and address gaps in skills and processes.

The AWS CAF and this document leverage AWS experience and best practices in assisting healthcare organisations around the world with their cloud adoption journeys.


Adopting AWS Cloud services offers NHS Trusts the opportunity to improve to business operations, patient flow, and patient outcomes. Digital transformation of healthcare can personalise the patient health journey, improve data-driven decision making, and accelerate precision medicine. Broadly, adopting AWS Cloud technologies offers three main opportunities:

  • Transformation and automation of business processes for greater reliability, accessibility, and lower cost.

  • Support for medical practitioners through artificial intelligence (AI) and automation of first-line triage, diagnoses, patient record keeping, note transcription, and the increase in patients’ access to care via telehealth and related technologies.

  • Security with greater granularity of controls and visibility over resources.

With AWS, the cost of managing your IT estate is reduced, both in financial terms and in terms of the time and cost of maintaining infrastructure. With its inherent scalability and elasticity, the AWS Cloud has liberated NHS Trust IT staff to be able to innovate, rather than focus on the maintenance of the existing IT estate.

The benefits of these tools and ways of working were clearly evidenced during the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 through a variety of innovative new services powered by the AWS Cloud. These included the rapid and mass adoption of telemedicine solutions from a number of AWS technology partners such as Attend Anywhere and Nye Health, and deployment of a vulnerable person support contact centre and a new COVID-19 research platform launched by Genomics England.

The ability to experiment without having to deal with failed experiments can dramatically improve the speed, flexibility, and accessibility of healthcare in the UK. Liberation from the consequences of failed investments means that NHS Trusts (which may be struggling to keep their IT online) can make radical improvements quickly, while highly technology-driven NHS Trusts can experiment with the most cutting-edge innovations in cloud technology.

AWS maintains several skilled practices across the healthcare sector, including healthcare providers, genomics, life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and more. AWS works with many healthcare organisations in the UK and Ireland, including flagship digital transformation projects with NHS England, NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS Education Scotland, NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA), NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham, Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria Integrated Care System (HLSC ICS), Genomics England, and EMIS.