United Kingdom

Key Facts

Airwave Solutions was awarded a £450m 10-year fully managed contract to upgrade all ambulances and control rooms to TETRA, and required additional programme and technical consultancy support



Interim management, Business transformation, Technical advisory, Service improvement


The Department of Health, together with the Scottish Government, had awarded a £450 million, 10-year fully managed voice and data services contract to Airwave Solutions, Great Britain’s provider of TETRA critical emergency communications. Airwave needed to deploy TETRA handheld and gateway equipment in over 11,000 vehicles and connect 14 Ambulance Service Trusts’ control rooms within a three-year period, and thereafter provide field services support under stringent service level agreements.

Whilst Airwave Solutions was already providing communications to the Police Services of Great Britain, the significant programme management activities and implementation aspects of this new managed services contract meant they needed to supplement their existing resources, particularly to manage their relationship with SunGard Public Sector (Capita) providing control room systems, logistics and field services under sub-contract.


Piran, working with a strategic programme delivery consultancy, acted as the Technical Design Authority throughout the planning, design, deployment and assurance phases, working closely with the individual Ambulance Services and the Department of Health’s central Ambulance Service Programme and equivalent Scottish project teams.

The role was accountable to the Programme Director and Senior Responsible Officer, and included managing a team of technical, project management and, during the deployment and assurance phases, test resources too. Day-to-day activities included managing issues arising from test failures, attending service and design reviews, supplier contract management, co-ordinating design artefact deliverables, governance and change management.

Following the transition of all Ambulance Services, Piran was subsequently retained to lead Airwave’s continuous service improvement programme addressing the Ambulance programme’s poor service performance. During this engagement Piran, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Scottish Government, instituted a new key performance indicator and service credit regime and improved field logistics and device repair cycle processes.


Following the engagement of the strategic programme delivery consultancy in partnership with Piran, programme delivery timescales were recovered, and the new project governance methodology significantly reduced the time to transition an Ambulance Service to TETRA, and the need for re-work and re-testing.

The new service improvement processes and performance measurement regime put in place by Piran substantially improved service quality, reducing Airwave’s service credits exposure and reduced the time suspected faulty devices spent in the repair loop reducing the need for additional stock overheads.