Just as Covid-19 began to grab the headlines, CPFT started talking seriously to the VerseOne team about rethinking, redesigning and relaunching their primary public-facing website.

Despite rolling lockdowns and the introduction of remote working for some, a new digital blueprint and partnership with VerseOne chimed with the Trust’s strategic plans.

As CPFT’s dedicated staff are based in more than 50 locations, our transformation experts were tasked with bringing disparate services together within a secure and easy-to-navigate digital hub which allowed patients to manage their referral online.  

Trust executives were also keen to ensure the site supported emerging technologies and closer integration and coordination with system partners.

Andrea Grosbois, CPFT’s Head of Communications, said: “We had a really outdated, old platform that didn’t meet our needs, didn’t reflect well on us as an organisation, didn’t meet accessibility regulations and was home to a huge amount of information that we needed to review.

“We wanted to bring in something that was more engaging, accessible and dynamic – and really deliver what our patients and carers wanted.”

CPFT Quote - Andrea Grosbois

We wanted to ensure consistency in the information we provided. Patients wanted to know where they could park, rules on visiting, and how they could be referred. Their input was really important. We had two patients as project members and built-up a really close relationship.

We also used a filtered search facility similar to that used by booking.com, and identified some of the categories we should use with our patient representatives.

The new site is so much more accessible, engaging, and mobile-friendly, and we can also share content through social media. We are getting closer to the website our patients and carers say they want.”

- Andrea Grosbois, Head of Communications at CPFT  

The Challenge

To meet the challenges of a changing health and care landscape, support diverse user journeys, allow engaging access to service information, and reflect the Trust’s ‘Good’ CQC rating online, CPFT required a website which would:

  • Place patient needs front and centre: by providing easy and swift access to appointment and service information thanks to tools including smart digital directories
  • Support and empower staff: allowing them to manage and update content on a central hub from bases across Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire
  • Improve engagement: thanks to an attractive and inclusive design which is consistent with NHS identity guidelines and allows users of all abilities to navigate the site
  • Remain ‘mobile-first’: by delivering a scalable, ‘mobile-first’ approach which works well on smaller screens
  • Bring CPFT’s people together: by empowering the Trust’s disparate workforce to deliver high-quality care under the ‘Team CPFT’ banner
  • Give patients and carers what they want: making it easy for people to find the services they need and key information
  • Remain fit for the future: by ensuring the new site could embrace emerging technology and connect with health partner’s platforms

The Solution

The project began in September 2020 and, despite the challenges posed by a global pandemic, the website was launched just four months later in January 2021.

Along the way VerseOne and CPFT’s dedicated teams developed a close working relationship which is reflected in the site’s premium feel and design.

Together, we delivered a digital experience for service users which exceeded the expectations of stakeholders and staff.

Our experts also provided support every step of the way, answering crucial questions around accessibility and ensuring CPFT content managers and editors had the tools, training and knowledge they required.

VerseOne’s partnership with Microsoft has also reaped significant rewards. Transferring the support and maintenance to a secure partner has removed a substantial burden from the Trust’s own IT team, freeing them up to help clinical staff deliver high-quality care.  

The new site, hosted by Microsoft’s best-of-breed Azure cloud computing service, also meets national accessibility standards. Users can now tailor colours and contrast levels to meet their needs, zoom in to view pages, and listen to easy-read content via a screen reader.

To ensure as many people as possible can use the website, we’ve also made the text as simple as possible to understand.

CPFT staff tell us they are extremely happy with the new platform and love its look and feel. It also provides a solid foundation for the Trust’s future digital plans.

The Benefits

Feedback from patients and staff has been generous and positive, particularly as the website allows easy access to key services, including crisis help, minor injury units, and the Trust’s Psychological Wellbeing unit.

Patients can also use the platform to attend online appointments, find out more about their medication, discover the latest information on Covid-19, and provide feedback.  

Andrea Grosbois, CPFT’s Head of Communications, said her team now planned to partner with patients and carers to regularly review all content on the site too, in a bid to ensure it remains up-to-date and accessible.

The Trust is also keen to increase its use of video to introduce service users to departments they may visit as part of their care and reduce anxiety.

Next Steps

CPFT has also partnered with VerseOne to build and deliver a second portal – the Trust’s new intranet. Significantly, it will feature a software component developed by Microsoft which will further support the Trust’s agile working policy.

Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS) will allow the VerseOne Intranet solution to connect with CPFT’s Active Directory, giving staff single sign-on access to the intranet from any location on any device.

The platform will also work hand-in-hand with the Trust’s website and bring communication tools, clinical documents, learning, resources, and key insights together within an integrated workspace supported by Microsoft Office 365 applications, including Outlook, Teams, and SharePoint.

The new intranet is set to launch in July 2021. Watch this space for more!

More Information

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) is dedicated to providing high-quality care with compassion.

The Trust’s 4,000 staff are based in more than 50 locations and provide community, mental health and learning disability services across the east of England, supporting around 100,000 people each year.

CPFT’s largest bases are the Cavell Centre in Peterborough, which provides mental health care as well as specialist learning disability services, and Fulbourn Hospital, a mental health facility.

The Trust is led by Chief Executive, Tracy Dowling.

VerseOne Group’s market-leading content management system powers more than 150 digital solutions for major healthcare providers, delivering personalised, intuitive and secure access to key information for over 20 million patients, staff and stakeholders.

Managed on and optimised for Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service, each VerseOne website, intranet, patient portal or messaging platform is built to drive forward true integrated care, promote multichannel and smart device delivery, and frame stunning digital experiences which free up staff to care.

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