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MSD IT Services aims to provide an effective, efficient and high quality service which meets the information technology needs of the departments within the Oxford University Medical Sciences Division regardless of location, in support of the division's strategic aims and objectives. The MSD IT hopes to provide a service to all its users offering easy access to the university network, the internet, application software and data. The networks should perform invisibly to the user, providing secure data storage with the knowledge that the information stored on the network will be secure from deletion and unwanted access. This provision will be independent of platform and all services shall be offered to all members of the departments, regardless of geographical location within Oxford, and status within the division.

MSD IT – What it does and what is provided

MSD IT (Medical Sciences Division IT Services) addresses the IT needs of the departments at the John Radcliffe Hospital, South Parks Road & City centre, Old Road Campus and Warneford sites. There are 18 FTE staff managed wholly by MSD IT.  MSD IT provides basic Departmental IT provision.  Departments can provide own staff in addition to this and MSD IT is keen to work with departments in recruiting, supporting and managing such staff.

MSD IT provides file service and other general desktop services, as well as providing other services such as those for publishing web pages (it does not author web pages other than its own) and virtual servers. It operates a Service Desk, available in person, by email and by telephone (central Service Desk based at the JR on 01865 280030, or

Hours of service: Weekdays, normally from 9am until 5pm.

Out of hours cover: The MSD IT Service Desk does not operate outside office hours. The systems themselves can generate alert messages and send these by text messaging to members of the systems team. The systems team act on these messages and occasionally proactively check the systems (the systems cannot always automatically alert staff to failures). All this is done on a resaonable efforts basis.  Emails to or voicemails left on (2)80030 will result in incident tickets that staff will monitor, also on a best efforts basis.

Good practice expected from users of the systems: Apart from adhering to codes of conduct stipulated by the University, the MSD IT would like users to behave in such a way as to prevent the spread of viruses/worms/trojans etc. and to keep themselves secure from intrusion and hijacking of their local machine. To these ends, MSD IT automates many processes to force updates and keep antivirus software up to date. In order for this method to work users should reboot their machine at least once a day. It is therefore good practice to switch the machine off at night. Personal laptops present another risk. Anyone planning to connect to the  network should be seeking advice from the MSD IT firstly to allow a legitimate connection and secondly to ensure that no harm is caused to the users or other peoples' machines. The MSD IT will also send broadcast emails to warn users of specific threats, but will do all it can to protect users without the user needing to take any action.

Staffing - Skill Sets

MSD IT staff divide into two skill set types, systems and customer support.


The skills of the systems support staff include a detailed knowledge of all operating systems used within the Division. Additionally these staff will have a deep knowledge of networking, backup, email, system configuration and administration.

User support

MSD IT customer support staff have good interpersonal skills, along with a deep understanding of the operating systems used on the desktop. Our staff have excellent skills with regard to hardware, peripherals and making them work together along with general skills regarding networking and software applications.

Response Time

Very many requests are dealt with immediately and all visits are normally made within 24 hours depending on staff availability and workload.


Most jobs are prioritised by time of receipt.  Every day existing jobs will increase in priority. Key staff (professor, dean, etc) will automatically be given a high priority. Higher priorities are given to system faults effecting large numbers. Typically a fault that affects users outside the clinical departments and within will be treated as an emergency. The level of priority will then reduce in the order :

  • All users affected
  • Several departments affected
  • One department affected
  • Small groups affected
  • Few users affected.

Rarely will we have two or more faults that appear in this scheme, so practically any event affecting multiple users is regarded as a very high priority. The first computer officer to take the call will make a judgement call to decide on the level of priority.


Many training courses are provided and advertised by central IT Services. MSD IT has no resources to run its own training courses, however it may from time to time arrange outside trainers to run courses not otherwise available. These will be charged at cost. MSD IT is open to suggestions for other courses that could be run in a similar way.

Cost of MSD IT Core Services

Each Department is charged for MSD IT services through the Division.  Top slice + infrastructure charge.  The running costs for MSD IT are administered through the Divisional Sciences Finance Office and the costs are shared between all participating departments.  Additional personnel may be bought by Departments and for groups of Departments to supplement support from MSD IT, and/or to cover services not offered by MSD IT.

Line of reporting

MSD IT reports to the Divisional IT committee, which in turn reports to the Divisional Board and the Dean of Medical Sciences.  The Director of MSD IT Services reports to the Medical Sciences Division's Head of Risk and Commercial Strategy.