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LONDON NHS Trust Transform Productivity and Boost Collaboration with One Truth Project Transparency

CPS (Corporate Project Solutions) Stand: Hall 4 / Microsoft Pavilion
LONDON North West University Healthcare Trust transform productivity and boost collaboration with ‘One Truth’ Project transparency with the Project for the Web and Power Apps

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) and London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) run hospitals and provide healthcare and emergency services to approximately two million people in the UK’s capital. Employing more than 25,000 clinical, support and emergency services staff between them, both trusts have a record of excellence in the provision of healthcare.

THE CHALLENGE

Supporting the healthcare needs of diverse communities requires constant focus. ICHT and LNWH manage hundreds of projects each year aimed at improving services and patient outcomes, cost-effectively. However, as health issues became more challenging in recent years, project management operations were struggling to keep pace with the requirements of the Trusts.

TIME FOR CHANGE

“We both had a heavy dependence on manual processes,” explains James Biggin-LammingTransformation Programme Director at LNWH. “Spreadsheets were filled in for each project, then passed on for other information to be added. They were both siloed systems, which made it difficult to understand what was happening across the portfolio and accurately assess costs and risks. The rework required was affecting staff productivity. With annual expenditure of around £2bn between us, improving our performance was imperative.”

With project portfolios increasing in scale and complexity each year to match the changing health environment, the trusts both believed they needed the power of an online cloud platform to replace the current manual system. The new solution must deliver an easily accessed, up-to-date version of the truth for all projects, enabling project outcomes to be tracked and accurately assessed.

“We both had specific objectives for improving our own project management systems, but we also recognised the growing importance of collaboration in the NHS, and the benefits we could get from standardising the way we do things,” says James Biggin-Lamming. “We both run huge hospitals within a few miles of each other. Many projects have an impact well beyond the boundaries of individual trusts, so it makes sense to have repeatable processes to help you easily share.”

COLLABORATION

ICHT began discussing its future project management requirements with CPS, a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with project management as a core service.

The two trusts agreed to work with CPS to find a project management solution that could be managed separately by each trust but enabled easy collaboration between the organisations. “The key was to maintain our independent operations but establish common processes and a common ‘language’,” says James Biggin-Lamming.

Agreeing on the solution platform was made easier because both trusts used Microsoft technologies, meaning they could access a wide range of proven project management tools while leveraging their investment. The Microsoft platform would make it easier for users to get up to speed with new processes and avoid complications of additional sign-on arrangements.

CPS had the Microsoft expertise to propose an effective solution, and its wider role as a partner was also critical. “CPS listened to how we described what we wanted and played back our ideas in an intuitive, structured way,” says James Biggin-Lamming. “CPS was very important in getting our different views sorted out and giving us space during the uncertainty of Covid. I’m sure many other consultants would have walked away!”

The agreed solution was designed and delivered by CPS within a modest budget. Called TrakIT, the solution provides the trusts with a set of online project workflow processes, a comprehensive reporting system with Microsoft Power BI dashboards, and a document library that captures project information for sharing within and between organisations.

 BESPOKE AND COLLABORATIVE

The solution is flexible. It enables organisations to tailor the system to their own ways of working but is designed so that each trust can see across its own boundaries to projects being managed by other trusts.

TrakIT has helped to accelerate project collaboration and is supporting consistent management information. Since April 2022, four hospital trusts, including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and LNWH, have shared a chair, and in the Summer of 2022, they announced a common board. “The direction of travel for management information is quite clearly collaborative, and TrakIT will support this,” James Biggin-Lamming says.

Since TrakIT was implemented, three more London NHS organisations, North West London Integrated Care BoardChelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, have joined the partnership.  

FUTURE PLANS

TrakIT has been designed so other trusts can quickly and easily adopt it. James Biggin-Lamming has demoed it to three other organisations beyond North West London and believes it has potential for wider use within the NHS.

Meanwhile, plans are in place to refine the system’s functionality. The project library’s search function will work like a hashtag in the future so that users can search projects intuitively through a keyword.

The NHS has limited funds for digital enhancements, so future developments rely on CPS to deliver its requirements creatively and cost-effectively. “TrakIT is now a comprehensive application,” says James Biggin-Lamming, “so we need pure technical expertise from CPS to help us develop it. We also really value their ability to take our ideas and translate them into workable digital processes that exceed our expectations.”

BUSINESS BENEFITS and RESULTS

With nearly 700 staff members using the system across four trusts, TrakIT is starting to deliver significant benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Time saved by staff in completing their project management tasks: by removing re-keying and manual roll-up of data and eliminating data inaccuracies, an average of one hour of a user’s time is estimated to be saved each week or 3,500 days a year in aggregate.
  • A single source of truth: All project information is now reported in real-time and accurate and enables easy assessment of individual projects’ impact, progress, timelines and risks and consequently cost-effective and improved decision-making, Project data is held in a secure single location on the NHS central tenant database, easily accessible and auditable.
  • Opportunities to leverage collaboration and greater functionality long-term.

RESULTS

CPS have helped these Trusts embrace the power of Microsoft technologies and automation to drive further innovation and open the door to delivering services that empower their staff and the citizens they serve.

 

 

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