When the story of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) was showcased by hit BBC2 documentary ‘Hospital’, Trust leaders decided that the nationwide broadcast of the series presented an outstanding opportunity to upgrade, optimise and shine the spotlight on a new website.
Although based in the heart of Nottingham, NUH provides award-winning acute and specialist care to some six million people throughout the East Midlands, and required a fresh, online face which would frame its values, attract potential new employees and serve the needs of patients and staff – wherever they are located.
- £2.5 mil + people recieving specialist services from NUH
- 15,000 people employed by the trust
NUH required a frictionless, mobile-friendly site that would take advantage of
cutting-edge technology, address accessibility requirements, remain easy to use, and – most importantly – place trustworthy information at the fingertips of patients, staff and visitors.
Laura Skaife, Director of Communications and External Relations at NUH, said: “Our previous website had grown beyond manageability in terms of content, was becoming dated, and simply wasn’t built for the mobile digital age.
“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.”
The modern new site also had to encourage feedback, provide excellent search functionality, and incorporate new technology as trends evolve.
"After our digital discovery workshop with NUH, it was also clear that the new website needed to be exceptionally user-friendly, mobile first, and secure," James Norris, Digital and Creative Director at VerseOne, added.
Following a competitive procurement process, NUH selected VerseOne to deliver a new content management system (CMS) and design and build the brand new website.
“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,” said James Norris, Digital and Creative Director at VerseOne.
“It was also really important that design was accessible, catering for web visitors of all abilities, using all kinds of devices.”
Getting the right content was also a big priority for the Trust.
“NHS websites have a habit of expanding over time,” said 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.”
"Our previous website had grown beyond manageability in terms of content and was becoming dated. 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."
Rachel Webster, Director of Communications at NUH
Planned and executed over the course of just four months, the new website was delivered on time and to budget.
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 required 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,” Nora Harris, Customer Solutions Director at VerseOne, said.
“We’re 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.”
Rachel Webster, NUH Director of Communications, said she hoped the new site would help the Trust become a digital leader.
“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 within the NHS.”
A projects success can be gauged by the positive feedabck from the project team and below are some comments from the happy customer.
"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,"
"The new website is a great foundation for our future digital ambitions and brand development.”
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