Aintree University NHS Trust

Aintree University NHS Trust are a teaching hospital based in Merseyside.

The challenge

Staff accessing social media and pushing bandwidth usage for non-essential resources.

Big results

Implemented Smoothwall Filter to manage bandwidth and create policies for social media usage.

What’s the background?

Aintree University Hospital is a teaching hospital with 4,500 staff, providing healthcare services to 330,000 people in North Liverpool, South Sefton and Kirkby.

The hospital is a ‘receiving site’ – not only for the world-famous Aintree racecourse, home to the famous Grand National – but also for the city’s footballing giants, Liverpool FC and Everton FC.

The trust has a world-class reputation for the delivery of specialist services, serving a population of 1.5 million, so they needed a world-class filtering solution that they could rely on.

What was the problem?

According to Neil Morgan, Information Security Manager, excessive bandwidth usage for non-essential tasks was affecting critical services.

Whilst their existing web filter could completely block some social media sites, it didn’t offer the fine level of control required.

What’s more, the creation of filtering policies was too time consuming, and a lot of time was being wasted on unblock requests.

As an Acute Trust, where access to timely information is so essential, this could not continue

How Smoothwall helped

To deal with the issues of web access, policy creation and the potential for social media abuse Smoothwall deployed Smoothwall Filter for PCs and trust-owned mobile devices.

The ability to setup different filter policies for individuals and multiple user groups means that the user gets the best policy for them, rather a single policy for all users. This has given Aintree more flexibility and has been really useful for the IT team.

The IT team now has a reliable tool for setting up policies and they can be changed easily at the click of a button, saving valuable time.

Their bandwidth bottleneck issues have been solved, with Smoothwall Filter ensuring bandwidth is available where it is needed.

Social media controls restrict Facebook to Read-Only for users who want to keep up to date but don’t represent the Trust publicly.

Aintree are confident that Smoothwall Filter will protect them now, and in the future: “Smoothwall solved our existing issues, as well as advising us on emerging issues such as social media.”

“Downtime is something we were worried about, but with Smoothwall we didn’t need to. The solution was in place within very tight time scales and the support has been excellent. Smoothwall has a culture of working closely with clients to identify and address individual requirements.”


Downtime is something we were worried about, but with Smoothwall we didn’t need to. The solution was in place within very tight time scales and the support has been excellent. Smoothwall has a culture of working closely with clients to identify and address individual requirements.

Neil Morgan
Aintree University NHS Trust

https://smoothwall.com