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How West London Mental Health Trust Has Achieved Intranet Success

by Paula Darch on April 7, 2016

West London Mental Health NHS Trust Intranet Success (Left to right: Alison Nunan, Andrew Burton & Sara Lee)

It’s always great to find out how others have achieved intranet success. Andrew Burton, Intranet Systems Manager at West London Mental Health NHS Trust has developed managed their intranet which they have named “The Exchange” for 10 years. Here Andrew and his team talk about their intranet success. If you would like to read more you can download the West London Mental Health NHS Trust case study.

By way of introduction this NHS Trust is one of the largest and most diverse mental health services in the UK. It provides care and treatment for around 20,000 people each year and employs around 3,500 staff across 25 sites. It provides local mental health services for adults, older people and children in the boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow.

Congratulations on your intranet “Exchange” celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. You have achieved a huge amount in this time. What would you say has been your greatest intranet achievement?

Our greatest intranet achievement and one that has had the biggest impact is our training application. All new starters are automatically registered on our induction course which includes mandatory training. Managers are able to keep track of training requirements and have a clear view of compliance which is a priority within the NHS.

The NHS Trust must have changed considerably in 10 years, how do you identify ongoing intranet developments to make sure your intranet is meeting everyone’s needs?

Our Trust is continually changing to meet the challenges and changes within the health service. Our system owners and content publishers are the ‘eyes and ears’ of our service and keep us abreast of what’s going on as well as put forward ideas on how to make improvements to meet the needs of our users.   As a team we network with other intranet providers through the SORCE user conference to learn about new developments that would enhance our site.

You have successfully created an intranet first culture, how did you go about achieving this and can you give any practical advice on how manage this on a daily basis?

From when the service first began 10 years ago the intranet became an integral part of our network. As soon as users log-in, the Exchange launches. At a glance, staff are able to see the latest corporate news, our CEO Blog, new initiatives and alerts for action.   The homepage is managed by our communications team so it’s kept up to date daily. If for some reason a user is unable to view the Exchange, we’ll soon know about it!

Has your intranet embraced social intranet features? Have you seen a benefit in doing this?

We’re using video links more for executive director board summaries, sharing good clinical practice, staff awards. More recently staff have been able to view the redevelopment of our Ealing and Broadmoor Hospital sites. We recently opened a new secure unit and launched a video to take a ‘look inside’, so staff who are unable to get to the site could see what’s new.

How do you measure intranet success?

We use the SORCE statistics to view the top 10 areas on the site. It’s also helpful when we launch new pages and applications to check how many visits there have been. Around every three months we review the stats to see if the visits have reduced or increased and liaise with the owners/publishers to see if there are small changes that can be done to help improve the stats. We also produce a report for specific stats on trust news and the blog. Our communications team use these figures to monitor internal communications.

It’s always good to hear feedback from staff too when they say to us ‘it’s great!’ or ‘it’s made my job so much simpler now you’ve added this feature’ or ‘I didn’t realise this was possible, could you build something like this for me’

What’s next for the “Exchange”?

The way forward for the Exchange is to move towards to the latest version of SORCE. Many of our staff work in the community and travel between sites. Team Spaces will enable us to target our users providing quick and easy links to information they require for their local service or business area.

And of course we can’t not celebrate Exchange’s 10 anniversary celebration!

I hope you have found Andrew’s intranet success insight useful. If you would like to read more you can download the West London Mental Health NHS Trust case study.


Topics: intranet success, west london mental health nhs trust

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