When Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) agreed to be featured on Series Three of the award-winning BBC 2 documentary "Hospital" in 2018, they decided that the focus on their services and working culture represented an excellent opportunity to update and modernise their website.
Based in the heart of Nottingham, NUH provides services to over 2.5million local people and specialist services and care for the whole of the East Midlands. The Trust employs over 15,000 people, and anticipated a big uptick in interest from job candidates as a result of the "Hospital" broadcast.
Being on the national stage, NUH wanted a fresh online face for the organisation that would showcase the organisation's brand and values, as well as take advantages of modern web technology in mobile responsiveness and performance, to better met the needs of patients, visitors and staff.
"Our previous website had grown beyond manageability in terms of content and was becoming dated," says Laura Skaife, Director of Communications and External Relations at NUH.
"We wanted to strip it back to make the most important information – based on feedback from our patients, visitors and staff - the easiest things to find, improving the user journey through the site. We also knew that our old website was based on outdated technology, and simply wasn't built for the mobile digital age. The new website is easy to use, mobile friendly and makes it easier for patients to ask questions and leave feedback. We welcome any feedback on the new website so that we can make continuous improvements, aligned with our ambitions as an organisation to be a digital leader in the NHS.”
Following a competitive procurement process, NUH selected VerseOne as its supplier for a new content management system (CMS) and a brand new website and design.
"After our digital discovery workshop with NUH, it was clear that the new website needed to be exceptionally user-friendly, mobile first, and secure," says James Norris, Digital and Creative Director at VerseOne.
"We collaborated with the team at NUH to create a design that targets the Trust's different audience groups—especially job candidates—with the right information at the right part of their journey, putting the Trust's best foot forward in terms of brand and user experience. It was also really important that design was Accessible, catering for web visitors of all abilities, using all kinds of devices."
Getting the content right for the site was also a big priority for the Trust.
"NHS websites have a habit of expanding over time," says Chris Hughes, Head of Digital Audience, a consultancy that works with healthcare organisations to improve their web presence.
"Working together, the Trust team and I did a full audit of their existing website content and started communicating with internal stakeholders straightaway about what to discard and what to promote. We prioritised content as gold, silver, and bronze, according to how well it would fulfil our objectives for the new site.
"We also took a long look at the navigation, making sure that we put together a menu structure for the site that would be clear, predictable, and simple for visitors to use.”
Planned and executed over the course of 4 months, the project to get the new website up and running went smoothly and predictably. The Trust found that using VerseOne CMS, with its suite of healthcare-focused modules and its built-in privacy by design, was exactly they experience they needed to make the transition to their new website swift and seamless.
"Agreeing and sticking to a project plan is very important for the success of any new website or intranet," says Nora Harris, Customer Solutions Director at VerseOne.
"We've very proud of the team at the Trust and our own project team for executing everything on time, on budget, and to NUH's requirements."
"We're very happy with our new website and with the experience of working with VerseOne, and most importantly, early feedback indicated patients and visitors are pleased with it too," Laura says.
"The new website is a great foundation for our future digital ambitions and brand development.”