Latest News in Healthcare

NHS Advisory Board - Integrated Care Systems

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APRIL 1, 2021 saw another standout moment for healthcare, as the NHS in England was formally split into 42 Integrated Care Systems. Each has been tasked with bringing health and social care services together to shape services that better serve the needs of local populations.

VerseOne, in partnership with Blue Lozenge, hosted the first in a series of roundtable events attended by patients and executives to explore the fact that each ICS must deliver a coordinated digital offer, and discuss ‘what good looks like in the eyes of citizens’.

Patient Partner Sara Turle is well qualified to speak about the importance of digital healthcare. For the past seven years, she has worked with Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust to embed quality improvement. She’s also an 11-year survivor of cancer.

Sara began the discussion by highlighting why digital services really matter to patients: “My greatest concern and greatest insight, speaking as a layperson, is to never, ever lose sight of why people are accessing health services. We’re not accessing them to place an order, we’re not trying to access because we’re doing something fun, we’re accessing [them] because we’re unwell, we’ve got a concern, we’ve got an issue.

“People will be ill, worried, mentally overloaded, and we have to keep this at the forefront of our minds when designing and putting [digital] support in place.”

Sara’s point is backed up by key evidence. Despite claims that Covid-19 has accelerated digital healthcare, the 2021 GP Survey revealed that less than one in five patients had chosen to use online services to book an appointment.

Our conversation sought to explore five key questions which must be answered if ICSs are to change this and deliver a new, patient-led digital landscape which improves outcomes, tackles inequalities and strengthens communities.

  1. When thinking about your ICS, what insight do you think is needed about your local population to provide digital solutions?

    Our panel echoed Sara’s [Change to: ‘the patient representative’s comments…’ if we can’t ref Sara] comments, and agreed ICS digital platforms must be shaped by the populations they serve.

    One panel member said: “Covid has solved a lot of digital problems, but it’s created new ones that we didn’t ever anticipate. What I have learnt though is that there’s a whole sub-layer of things you need to know about your community that I never envisaged.”

    In order to deliver effective and enduring change for communities, the panel member added ICS digital teams must “keep digging deeper” to understand how local cultures work and discover insights which will “bring them on this journey with us”.

    Several speakers highlighted the fact that Covid had accelerated digital transformation within health and care, but also intensified digital inequality and exclusion among vulnerable communities.

    In response, it was agreed that ICSs must now work with populations to mine insight which will help them understand barriers to access, and shape the “co-design and production” of digital platforms.

    “The huge irony is normally the insight and engagement we have is from the population that has [digital] access and we have regular contact with,” one speaker said. “I think we need to shift our focus to the people we don’t hear from and find the barriers there.”

    However, several participants said digital healthcare was not the answer for all patients, and risked dismantling one of the founding principles of the NHS – equal access for all.

    “The risk is we put too much emphasis on it because we think everyone has an iPhone nowadays. We need to make sure we know the population that don’t have an iPhone in their pocket and we have solutions for them, as well as making it easier for the people who do have,” said one speaker.
  2. What do citizens want from health and care digital channels? Do we think that’s different from what they may need?

    Technology is continually opening up new possibilities for prevention, care and treatment. But as the NHS Long Term Plan highlights, it has yet to enable the wholesale transformation of clinical outcomes and services patients have a right to expect.

    Sara Turle [Change to: ‘Our Patient Partner’ if necessary] said some of the key themes which must be addressed if ICS digital channels are to deliver joined-up care included accessibility, reliability, and coordinated services which “talk to each other”.

    One panel member added patients wanted to be reassured by digital health services, too, but trust was proving difficult to establish virtually.

    “We are certainly seeing people presenting at our paediatric A&E after having a digital consultation with a GP who just don’t feel reassured. They want that physical connection.

    “And I think citizens want health and care digital channels to be better. That means being simple, clear and easy-to-access because, let’s be honest, they’re probably not at the minute.”

    Panel members also agreed ICSs faced a significant challenge to make yet another healthcare reorganisation really matter to service users.

    “It’s how we are able to tell the story about it all coming together while making it real for them,” one speaker said. “I think that’s going to be quite a challenge.”

    “I just wonder whether citizens even know or care about ICSs. All they want is joined-up care,” said another.
  3. How will teams work together to audit, map and understand their current digital landscape?

    Evidence has shown that most people’s experiences of health and care services are collected by individual providers. In simple terms, we know about patients’ experience of individual services, but not whether they are able to work well together. The challenge for ICSs is to prove they can.

    However, panel members said ICSs should not try to be all things to all patients.

    “ICSs need to be brave and say if there is a particular behaviour from the public that we can’t change and we’ve been trying to do so for 20 years, then let’s not try to come up with a digital solution for it,” a participant said.

    A colleague from the communications sector added ICSs also faced practical challenges, as more joined-up channels would mean “more people fighting for that space”. “I think that tension around being one big organisation when there are so many diverse audiences within each trust anyway is going to be a real challenge and a difficult one to resolve.”
  4. How will you go about developing a digital strategy for your ICS area?

    The recently-released ICS Design Framework states each partnership will be responsible for agreeing a strategy for improving health care, social care and public health across its whole population, using the best insights from data available.

    But one panel member stressed that “balance” was required: “Yes, we’ll put some digital things in place, but they have also got to be supported by all the other engagement work that we do with communities – face-to-face or with community groups and everything else.”

    However, they added using digital would enable partnerships to “widen their reach”.

    One panel member went a step further by suggesting successful digital channels could be the “bedrock” for better community engagement.

    “If we can get all our digital channels right, then we can get all the personal contact correct and really reach out to communities.”
  5. If we are looking back in 12 months’ time, how do we know we’ve succeeded?

    Patient Partner Sara Turle added success, for her [Change to: ‘Our Patient Partner added success would be…’ if necessary], would be achieved when barriers to digital inclusion were removed and “everyone had a seat at the table”.

    “I think for me, it’s also going to be very much about the staff on the shop floor feeling that they have the time, capacity and skills to implement and embed the technology. That, to me, is a huge success point. If they don’t do that it’s going to impact on patients.”

    Concluding the event, moderator Rachel Royall, Founder and Managing Director of Blue Lozenge, said in order to “put patients first and change and transform, ICSs need to be brave in the comms and digital solutions they develop. Successful solutions will only be delivered when they are co-designed with the people we need to serve”.

    The digitisation of integrated care systems must take place at a pace at which all of society – including the least digitally literate and those who struggle to gain access – can keep up with.

The next VerseOne roundtable held in partnership with Blue Lozenge will focus on new challenges to the NHS workforce.

Read NHS Advisory Board - Integrated Care Systems…

True integrated care already is changing lives during the Covid crisis

integrated care

SEISMIC changes within the NHS are now in motion, after the Government laid the foundations for the most significant structural reforms in a decade.

A white paper released in February, just as Covid was finally starting to relax its grip on the nation, outlined a statutory footing for the ICSs now in place across the country, and cemented Government plans to capitalise on the remarkable healthcare collaborations forged during the pandemic by driving forward more joined-up care.

The new model, announced within the recent Health and Care Bill, will see the legal formation of 42 integrated care systems, bringing providers and NHS commissioners together with key partners to deliver better outcomes in more innovative, efficient and cost-effective ways.

Before his recent resignation former health secretary Matt Hancock said the new blueprint would help shape a system that’s better able to serve people by ‘making joint planning and delivery of services easier’ and, in the long term, ‘addressing the needs of everyone, from children to older people, at different stages of their lives’.

However, for some, the health service’s new roadmap is simply further reassurance that they are already on the right track. From Worcester to Wokingham, South Yorkshire to South East London, projects which bring people together to deliver a better deal for patients are already in place.

VerseOne recently played an integral role in the development of a highly successful partnership project which is supporting communities – and changing lives.

VerseOne’s transformation experts recently joined forces with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust (HACW), the social care sector, Worcester City Council, heritage organisations and even the local football club to create Life Stories, a pioneering digital memory book.

The smart platform allows people of all ages to share the milestone moments in their lives by creating an online journal using photos, videos, music and memories. Evidence has shown that recording our life stories can be therapeutic and help shape a sense of identity, particularly in people who have difficulty sharing this information themselves.

Although freely available to all residents of Worcestershire and Herefordshire, the application is now being used within clinical settings to stimulate and support patients with dementia.

Dr Natasha Lord, HACW’s Lead Older Adults Mental Health Clinical Psychologist, co-led the project which saw stakeholders come together to provide a personalised, accessible and safe space for users.

She said:

"We always knew that a digital Life Stories platform was going to make a difference to healthcare, however the pandemic has shown that this is even more necessary. Along with evidence that suggests that digital medium is even more powerful for triggering memories, a further benefit is that families will be able to update and provide valuable information to care in a timely manner when family members coming into hospital or a care home is limited as the platform is web-based. Bringing together mediums such as images, audio and video, potentially offer a more enriched experience and is more inclusive as it allows people who have communication difficulties to use alternative methods to writing memories.

"The platform is easily accessible and very intuitive, being developed with people at the heart and enables users to explore as independently as possible or with families or carers. We are already receiving feedback on the potential impact the platform can have and are looking forward to seeing what our research finds."

It is hoped that Life Stories will help patients with dementia and their families highlight information which is valuable to health and care organisations, too.

“In terms of integrated care, if a person living with dementia goes into hospital, their family may previously have had to come in with photos and mementoes to help staff learn more about them.

“But with Life Stories they can upload important photos and information to the platform via the cloud. It’s far more accessible, as it’s available anywhere online.

“Life Stories is also helping to bring health and social care closer together. I think older people’s services are already quite good at working closely anyway, but it is certainly supporting this.

“Having access to that level of detail wherever the patient is located will enhance relationships and enable people to give the best care. I’d like to see a quality difference and we are seeing that with Life Stories.”

“Overall, it’s been a brilliant project, and has extended the work we’ve already done,” Dr Lord added. “We’re now really excited to see how other people will use it too, whether it’s for enhancing the lives of their families or collaborating on community projects.”

Projects like Life Stories are needed more than ever. Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England’s boss for the past seven years, is set to step down at the end of July 2021, and his replacement’s in-tray is already overflowing.

Likely priorities include reducing huge operational pressures among acute providers, with A&E units across the UK at breaking point and the number of people waiting over 52 weeks to start consultant-led treatment peaking nationwide at more than 430,000 earlier this year – a figure not seen since 2007.

Secondary care has also seen a significant year-on-year increase in walk-in attendees, placing intense pressure on patient flow.

Add into the mix a huge referral and elective surgery backlog, 90,000 NHS vacancies, and emergency departments also facing the prospect of a winter battling pre-existing demands alongside a global pandemic, and you can see why many within the sector are keen to embrace radical change.

The situation in primary care is no better, too, with waiting lists rapidly expanding as GP surgeries and the services they provide slowly awaken. Last year, GPs referred six million fewer people for hospital tests or treatment, and one influential healthcare think tank has gone so far as to claim that figure could top 10 million by 2024.

Health chiefs hope ICSs and partnerships across providers – soon to benefit from the relaxation of existing rules on competitive tendering – will help the sector deliver new ways of working at ICS, place and neighbourhood level. A feature of the proposals will see clinical commissioning groups absorbed into integrated care systems by the end of the year, and statutorily dissolved in April 2022.

It is now a full lifetime since the NHS was established to provide treatment for acute episodic illness but, with growing numbers of older people also living with long-term conditions, it is straining at the seams.

Each new ICS, propelled by the spirit of partnership sparked by the pandemic, has been tasked with bringing hospital and community-based services, physical and mental health, and social care together to deliver joined-up and, where possible, place-based care for communities.

South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw (SYB) paved the way for the integrated care revolution when it became one of the first in the country to launch in October 2018. It now supports a population of 1.5 million across five interconnected places (Sheffield, Doncaster, Bassetlaw, Barnsley, and Rotherham), connecting 72,000 staff, including 208 GP practices and six acute hospital and community trusts.

Worryingly, life expectancy in SYB is no longer increasing; residents are now dying at a younger age and remaining in strident health for shorter periods. SYB has been tasked with addressing this inequality, allowing people to remain healthy and live well for longer.

To achieve this, place-based care partnerships have already been established, with local plans developed by clinical commissioners, hospital managers, doctors, patient groups and council officers.

Examples now operating at system and place level include:

  • ‘Social prescribing’ schemes to support residents’ social, emotional or practical needs where medication isn’t the best solution: Problems with relationships, unemployment, and loneliness can be eased in this way
  • Hospital doctors, nurses and allied health professionals have agreed a single way of working across some specialties: Teams share staff and work to the same high standards
  • The Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster Perinatal Mental Health Service delivers specialist care: System-wide support is available to women with mental health problems who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or recently gave birth

ICSs, however, are broader than just being members of the healthcare club. A parish council in Wokingham was one of the partners in the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS which recently helped deliver 10,000 leaflets in an area where mental health issues are on the rise.

Colleagues from the Berkshire town’s local authority and health system came together to promote ‘One Front Door’, a Citizens Advice’ service which encourages residents in need to call a community hotline for support.

Meanwhile, a new way of delivering holistic support to help children with mental health issues and common health conditions has been launched by the Children and Young People’s Health Partnership, hosted by Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Claire Lemer, consultant in general paediatrics at Evelina London and CYPHP’s operational lead, said the partnership, which brings together professionals including paediatricians, psychiatrists and researchers, was simply making the system more efficient by spending more time on prevention or early intervention rather than “resuscitation”.

These remarkable partnerships and many more demonstrate that provider collaborations are already improving standards in some communities. But significant challenges remain if the transition from a competitive to a collaborative approach is to prove successful and sustainable.

Declan Hadley, recently Digital Lead at Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS, warned that access to the right technology remained key.  

“As integrated care systems continue to develop across England, it’s vital that we ensure that the underpinning digital technology is fit: we want to be match ready for the new health and care landscape.

“Key to that is being able to deliver the right information, in a secure orchestrated way, and ensuring that when we have the information, we can use it as the basis for action.”

Digital Exemplar Surrey Heartlands ICS has done just that by bringing two separate foundation trusts – Ashford and St Peters, and Royal Surrey – together to implement a pioneering EPR (electronic patient records) solution.

The Surrey Safe Care programme has digitised patient administration, allowing key services including A&E, elective surgery, and outpatients to mould digital processes together to deliver safer and more efficient care to some 800,000 people across six sites.

The NHS must mirror such innovation and work smarter, not harder, if integrated care is to become the new normal. To avoid compromising the high standards health and care staff routinely deliver across the country, the service must use its valuable and often ground-breaking resources more efficiently.

Healthcare tech – from Life Stories to telemedicine – has shown its worth. Now it must be rolled out system-wide if a truly integrated health system is to be delivered.


Guest blogger Dan Webber examines the impact partnership-working and integrated care systems are already having on the health service

Read True integrated care already is changing lives during the Covid crisis…

Covid-19 - The catalyst for a new era of NHS innovation

COVID-19 has delivered the greatest challenge to the NHS since its post-war foundation.

Resources have been redeployed to help stretched services cope with the significant numbers of people left seriously ill by the pandemic, causing a huge backlog throughout non-Covid care.

But as challenging as the crisis has been for all of us, it has also acted as a catalyst for new and innovative ways of working within health and care organisations nationwide, with many turning to digital healthcare providers to help deliver – and improve – vital services.  

Thanks to our own commitment to the sector, VerseOne was the natural choice for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust when they sought an experienced and innovative partner to develop and launch Life Stories, a pioneering digital memory book which helps users capture and share photos, music, memories and more.


[image for VerseOne Life Stories]


The therapeutic application is now being put to work within clinical settings to stimulate patients with varying degrees of dementia, but has also been designed with the general public in mind.

From older people to those with learning disabilities and children, remembering, recording and sharing tales of days gone by can boost both mental wellbeing and cognitive function.

Dr Natasha Lord, Lead Older Adults Mental Health Clinical Psychologist at HACW, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with VerseOne to finally realise this wonderful resource. Life Stories can be accessed easily, updated simply and you can send links and share your story with any nominated person.


“Life Stories helps people move from care home to hospital, and if we look at it in terms of community mental health too, people won’t fall between the gaps because it allows closer working, continuity, consistency of care, and quicker waiting times. Since its launch we have already started to see that happen.

“We are now really excited to see how other people will use it too, whether it’s for enhancing the lives of their families or collaborating on community projects.”


Keep an eye out for a more in-depth review of this new innovation which we will be publishing next month.

Other secondary care providers across the country have also adapted to the Covid-19 crisis by embracing cutting-edge technology, including Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT).

Rooted within a deprived community which has been hard-hit by Covid, Bradford turned to telehealth platforms, virtual consultations, remote working, and digital appointment letters sent by text message as the pandemic progressed. A pioneering interactive digital roadmap – People First: Digital First – was even launched by the district’s integrated care service during the peak of the first wave in June 2020.

Bradford has since invested further in improving NHS and social care IT systems and, nearly a year on, the Covid-19 crisis has helped demonstrate that health services in the city possess the digital capability to support patients, parents and families in new and modern ways; providing faster, safer and more convenient care.


VerseOne - Bradford Teaching Hospital

There is also much to learn from how the city’s hospital trust has transformed non-Covid care. During the pandemic it launched drive-through testing for cardiac patients, the digitally-enabled ACE service provided an alternative to hospital admission for children with common acute illnesses like croup and asthma, and its digitally-operated Command Centre – the first of its kind in Europe – transformed care by reducing waiting times and making the experience of being in hospital smoother, faster and more efficient.

But the Trust has no desire to stop there, with plans now being made to establish a digital transformation committee to incorporate staff from all specialties in its bid to drive further innovation.

Dr Mat Mathai, a Consultant Paediatrician at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, said the onset of Covid-19 had “moved digital healthcare from the periphery” of his work “to the mainstream”.


“In January 2020, digital healthcare hadn’t really taken off and people weren’t interested in virtual consultations. Three months later we were in full lockdown and within weeks of that the system had really started to move. People didn’t want to come to hospital or visit their GP, so the need for digital healthcare became prescient.

“The system has changed and the population has changed. Around 80 per cent of my consultations at the Trust during lockdown were virtual, and people are now used to accessing care that way. We are seeing more people face-to-face now as the lockdown eases, but I don’t think we will return to the way we were functioning before Covid.”


Virtual consultations reduce the spread of Covid-19 infection, but they are also much more convenient for patients. In the past many would have to take time out from busy days to travel to clinics, park and wait for their appointment. Now, consultations are carried out in patients’ sitting rooms and, as one Bradford-based consultant reported, even while doing the supermarket shop!

“Earlier this year we ran a survey among our paediatric families,” added Dr Mathai, “with 75 per cent of respondents stating that they had taken part in at least one virtual consultation and 80 per cent claiming they would be happy to do so again. Covid-19 has delivered a sea change in the way NHS healthcare is delivered.”

The pandemic has also helped accelerate the development of unified digital platforms which provide patients with easy access to key clinical information, and allow healthcare staff to find each other, collaborate, and deliver high-quality care thus increasing productivity and driving down costs.

Barts Health, an internationally renowned teaching hospital in the City of London, chose VerseOne to help develop and deliver mobile-first website and intranet solutions which place service users at their core and leverage the NHS Trust’s unique heritage.

Detailed stakeholder workshops were held with staff, patients and family members to gain a deep understanding of their needs and support the creation of a visual language that is not only engaging, but highly accessible and usable too.

This approach to user-centred design, combined with VerseOne’s unrivalled sector experience   and unified technology has provided a solid foundation for further digital transformation initiatives at the historic Trust.

Since their launch all the platforms, which work hand-in-hand and are busting with functionality – including directories for easily finding services and blogging capability – have been an unqualified success, providing the historic trust with a fluid and scalable foundation for further digital transformation.

Megan Skinner, Deputy Director of Communications at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “We run both our website and intranet through the VerseOne CMS. It offers flexibility and control over content and reduces work when publishing to multiple platforms. The upgrades that come with no extra cost are also welcome.”

VerseOne has also delivered market-leading digital experiences in partnership with Microsoft, one of the world’s leading technology companies.

Not only did our transformation experts rethink, redesign and relaunch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s (CPFT) website for patients and staff during the pandemic, placing video consultations to the fore, but the new system has also been future-proofed to ensure it can fully support emerging technologies.

And thanks to our partnership with Microsoft, the site is managed on the tech giant’s secure Azure cloud platform, too, providing multi-channel device delivery and freeing up the Trust’s IT team to focus on what they do best – delivering outstanding patient experiences.

CPFT’s new public platform was launched this spring to significant acclaim, so much so that the Trust has now also asked VerseOne to design and develop a single sign-on intranet. In order to accommodate the profound impact Covid-19 has had on healthcare delivery, the new intelligent work hub will integrate with Office 365 applications and remain accessible anywhere in the world from any device.

But wherever it’s located, telemedicine is not always tickety boo. Technology failures cause frustration on all sides, and consultations which need to address safeguarding or psychological issues are often made more difficult as clinicians struggle to pick up on body language and behavioural clues. Many doctors also dislike passing on life-changing or worrying news virtually.

Despite the drawbacks, however, digital healthcare is here to stay. According to a recent Deloitte report, an incredible 500,000 connected medical technologies are now available worldwide.

Other pioneering work taking place throughout the UK includes a digital healthcare programme for patients with long Covid delivered by app, the roll-out of joined-up electronic patient records which will further support the introduction of integrated care systems, and the creation of an NHS Digital guide which will help providers, commissioners and designers create their own digital healthcare products.

The need for such innovation was highlighted by the NHS Long Term Plan. But the pandemic has turned blue-sky thinking into concrete reality and ushered in a new digital age which is revolutionising the way health and care is delivered. Across the country, medical technologies are now democratising healthcare in ways Nye Bevan can only have dreamed of.

Guest blogger - Dan Webber

Read Covid-19 - The catalyst for a new era of NHS innovation…

Celebrating 40 Years of Healthcare Excellence

On behalf of VerseOne Group, we would like to congratulate the nominees, including our customers who have been shortlisted for these prestigious awards, showcasing a continued commitment to care progress, through efficiencies, partnerships, creativity and innovation – and in such a difficult year. 

The HSJ Awards celebrate the success stories across the NHS in a range of categories. In recognising the fantastic work being done today, the awards also create a stage for discussions to help shape the future of the NHS. 

VerseOne is a proud partner of 45+ NHS Trusts, delivering digital solutions that improve the lives of staff and patients, and assisting the Trusts’ to meet their own ambitious digital transformational goals.

Join the Virtual Awards Ceremony - 17th March 2021: 17.00 – 19.00


The shortlist is (drum roll please!) 


Acute or Specialist Trust of the Year:  

  • Epsom & St Helier University Trust 

  • Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells Trust 


Acute Sector Innovation of the Year - NHS book a virtual visit:  

  • London North West Healthcare University Trust 

  • Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust 


Freedom to Speak Up Organisation of the Year:  

  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust 

  • South London and the Maudsley Foundation Trust 

  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton Foundation Trust 


Health and Local Government Partnership Award:  

  • Croydon Health Services Trust; SLaM


Integrated Care Partnership of the Year:  

  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton Foundation Trust 


Mental Health Innovation of the Year: a long list, with our customers being:  

  • Epsom Hospital A&E 

  • Royal Surrey Country Hospital A&E 

  • Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals Foundation Trust A&E 


Military & Civilian Health Partnership:  

  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation Trust 


NHS Communications Initiative of the Year:  

  • Moorfields Eye Hospital Foundation Trust 

  • North Middlesex University Hospital Trust 

  • Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust 


Patient Safety:  

  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust 

  • Croydon Health Services Trust 

  • Royal Surrey Foundation Trust 

  • South London and the Maudsley Foundation Trust 

  • The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust 


Staff Engagement:  

  • Barts Health Trust 


System Leadership Initiative of the Year:  

  • Croydon Health Services Trust 

  • South London and the Maudsley Foundation Trust 


System Led Support for Carers:  

  • Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust 

  • Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals Trust 


Workforce Initiative of the Year:  

  • Lewisham & Greenwich Trust 


Visit the HSJ website to find out more - 


If you would like to find out more about VerseOne and the work that we do for the NHS please do   Contact Us.

Read Celebrating 40 Years of Healthcare Excellence…

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Website Goes Live

It was just as the pandemic was starting, that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (CPFT) started talking seriously to the VerseOne Website team with a grand plan to rethink, redesign and relaunch their main trust website. Pretty ambitious during the rolling lockdowns and with a distributed workforce but the thinking and planning behind it was solid and partnering with VerseOne fitted withCPFTs strategic plans.

CPFT deliver many NHS services outside of the hospital and in the community such as physical, mental health and specialist services across the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region.  They employ over 4,000 staff based in more than 50 locations. Patients and staff needed a secure central hub where everyone could access key up to date information.

So, the objectives were to deliver an attractive and easy to navigate website for CPFT, allowing them to easily manage and update content on one central platform, allow patients to access appointments and offer digital support.  The key to the success of the project was to ensure that the system was futureproofed to support emerging technologies.

The VerseOne partnership with Microsoft was also an important driver because it aligns with CPFTs and the wider NHS strategic plans. Shifting the hosting, support and maintenance to a trusted and secure partner also removes the burden and dependency on the IT team and frees them up to other important work.

The project kicked off in September 2020 and four months later the brand-new website was launched in January 2021. Throughout the journey the teams at CPFT and VerseOne worked together to deliver a digital experience for service users that exceeded the expectations of the stakeholders and ultimately, the Trust are very proud of. The senior VerseOne team offered support and guidance each step of the way, answered crucial questions around accessibility (WCAG 2.1 AA) and ensured that the Trust content managers and editors had the support they needed to do their job.

Having worked with CPFT for four months we know that they are extremely happy with the website and love the look and feel. We also know that the website is a solid foundation for their future digital transformation plans.

You can check the new site out here: 

Intranet Project

Now that the website is completed, we have started the planning phase for the new VerseOne Intranet, which officially begins in April 2021. A key element of this project is that a& VerseOne Intranet and Active Directory or Azure Active Directory can be synchronised in real time. The creation and de-provisioning of users is easy and efficient, reducing IT burden and ensuring all profile data is current and correct.

CPFT use Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS) which is the cloud version of Active Directory (AD). This allows the VerseOne Intranet solution to connect cloud to cloud to with CPFT Active Directory and give staff single sign on to the Intranet from the office and when working off site, on any device. Many trusts are rolling out an agile working policy and this supports that initiative.

Other challenges that the intranet will be addressing are:

  • Audience definition and access to relevant documents and information 

  • Design and functionality – A beautiful interface sitting over a powerful set of features 

  • Benefits to the Trust and the users

  • Employee Engagement - Find out more - Download our Employee Engagement Infographic

A go-live has been set for July 2021 and we look forward to sharing the launch then.

Read Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Website Goes Live…

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Life Stories


Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust developed a novel and exciting idea in conjunction with Worcester City Council’s Historic Environment Record to develop a Worcester Life Stories’ project.

The project idea was of two independent but interacting platforms. Know Your Place Worcester, and Worcester Life Stories. The Worcester Life Stories platform would be fully co-produced with people using the website such as older people, people living with dementia, carers, and health and social care staff as well as the general public.   

The resulting website will provide a virtual platform where residents of Worcester could login and develop their own Worcester Life Story. This will be through a number of mediums such as photos, text, audio and possibly video.

Dr Natasha Lord, Lead Clinical Psychologist for old people’s mental health needs has been the driving force behind this innovative idea and has ambitions to develop the solution in other regions of the UK.


It is really exciting that we are now working with VerseOne to develop the Worcester Life Stories platform. Life story work is already well evidenced for its benefits such as enhancing well-being, and improvements in communication and inclusion. Worcester Life Stories will take this work further by the people of Worcester co-producing what is important to them about their local history and making this easily accessible. Furthermore, digital evolvements mean that digital formats such as video stories will now be possible where they have not been before.


Users of the ground-breaking solution will be able to tap into and trawl through over 35,000 pre- loaded historic photographs and memories of Worcester (by accessing the ‘Know Your Place Worcester’ application) and upload these into their custom life story.  Know Your Place Worcester will be a public website, hosted by the Historic Environment Record Officer Sheena Payne-Lunn. This will be a growing resource which will continue to provide local memories of Worcester.  The user can then also upload personal images and memories to their ‘life story’ which they may not wish to share on a public platform.

This personalised life story can be downloaded as a multimedia video presentation or printable PDF.


The intention of the Life Stories website is to deliver measurable health benefits to old adults, their carers and their families. Evidence also suggests that life story work is valuable across the lifespan. In recognition of this, the workshops and the platform are open to all.  VerseOne with its deep expertise in Accessibility and user experience design is proud to extend their existing partnership and digital footprint with Hereford and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, bringing real additional value to the project. VerseOne also recognises the importance and health benefits of this project and as such has contributed £10,000 from its Innovation Fund (established specifically to support novel projects of this nature), that will help to make this project a real success, both in Worcester and nationally. As the UK’s Leading provider of digital transformation solutions, VerseOne has a proud heritage of serving the NHS spanning over 15 years, with their solutions already empowering 350,000 NHS staff who in turn service over 20m patients across the UK.

This project will see the two organisations continue to work together closely to deliver a flexible and highly personalised digital experience with the award winning VerseOne solutions at its core.

For more information about the project please visit

To Explore the interactive Know Your Place map, please visit - 

For more information on how VerseOne are helping in the NHS please visit us at


Read Herefordshire and Worcestershire Life Stories…

Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals (ESTH) integrated care

As the existing provider of their integrated digital platform encompassing both website and intranet, VerseOne is delighted to announce that the Epsom & St. Helier University Hospitals Trust (ESTH) has extended its online capability to develop the new Surrey Downs Heath & Care microsite.

The past year has seen ESTH establish a multidisciplinary community care service in partnership with SCH Surrey (formerly Central Surrey Health), Dorking Healthcare and local GP federations - with the aim of maximising the efficiency of community resources in order to prevent or defer hospital admissions wherever possible.

The success of the project therefore depended on the provision of a robust, Accessible website where members of the public can find the information and services they need regardless of their level of internet use or the device used for access. For this ESTH already has the ideal digital partner in VerseOne - a longtime champion of web Accessibility protocols as well as the provider of market-leading digital solutions to over 40 NHS Trusts nationwide.

ESTH has been able to maximise its existing digital investment in the unified VerseOne CMS platform and ensure their new Surrey Downs Health & Care is fully integrated with their key corporate systems in a COPE (Capture Once Publish Everywhere) environment. As well as driving efficiencies, the ESTH can easily keep control of vital information governance by maintaining all its mission-critical documents in a central repository - meaning both the staff and the local community are accessing accurate and up to date information they know they can trust.

You can browse the new site here:

VerseOne Group is delighted to have worked on this important and valuable project. In further strengthening our relationship with our valued customers such as Epsom & St. Helier University Hospitals Trust we continue to fulfil our mission statement of using technology to make a tangible and positive difference to the lives of Clinicians, Staff and the Patients within the NHS.

Read Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals (ESTH) integrated care…
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