Happy 70th Birthday to our NHS..!
As this month marks the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Agidea CEO, Sam Flanagan, takes a look back over more than a decade of working on web and digital projects for public health and says a big thank you to everyone in the NHS we’ve had the pleasure to work with.
It’s hard to believe that something most of us depend on so much didn’t exist until 70 years ago. On Thursday 5th July 1948 Aneurin Bevan, then the health secretary, launched the NHS at Park hospital (now Trafford General), right here in Manchester. Since then, the NHS has been a driving force of social good and equality, transforming the lives of millions of ordinary people in the UK.
Developing digital services and software applications for the NHS with Umbraco, DNN, Microsoft .NET and AWS technology
As a developer, my first exposure to the tremendous power and potential of digital services in public health was in 2004, working with Professor Martin Marshall CBE at the University of Manchester. Martin, who later went on to serve as Deputy Chief Medical Officer, was at the time heading up the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre. Together with a small team based at the university, we developed a web-based information portal, which became known as Your GP Guide. In 2007, I was contracted by the Department of Health to work on incorporating some of the Your GP Guide innovations into what is now the NHS Choices website.
Software and digital services are not only improving patient experiences, but back office processes too. We worked with Health Education England to deliver an online digital Workforce Planning platform to allow the specialists in this area to plan and organise. We developed a dynamic, digital planning web application making it possible for Health Education England to manage workforce planning strategies utilising online process mapping tools which were fully editable in a content management interface. Natalie Howell, Workforce Planning Project Manager, Health Education, said:
“We came to Agidea with a unique project that couldn’t met by an off-the-shelf product. Sam and his team were really excited by the challenge, taking our ideas and developing a finished web tool-kit that was dynamic, fun to use and met all of our users’ needs. It was an enjoyable collaboration and we hope to work with the team again in the future.”
Developing Umbraco Content Management Systems (CMS) for NHS Hospital Trusts
NHS Hospital Trusts depend on their websites to deliver a vast array of information to patients, staff, visitors and members of the public. Agidea has a proven, cost effective, approach to web and CMS development for hospital trusts. This approach is based on well know open standards, including Microsoft .NET, Umbraco and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
We have developed 3 key websites for the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust, including the Royal Liverpool Academy. We have also taken over management of the main https://www.rlbuht.nhs.uk/ website and moved it to secure, high performance, AWS hosting.
Steve Wright, Online Communications Officer at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“AGIDEA took the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals NHS Trust on as a client during a period of significant transition for our website and were nothing short of exemplary. When our prior web developer went out of business, we had to seek out a reliable and trustworthy new partner within an exceptionally short period of time. AGIDEA were quick in quoting, in their suggestions and their recommendations. Many were vital and the prior developer had missed in assessing working with a large NHS hospital Trust and the complexities involved within that.
Most importantly for me is I felt involved in the process and felt as though I could be as involved or as uninvolved as I liked; if you know more about the technical side of web development, they are friendly and as easy to deal with as if you simply need to manage and oversee the website project. They are a friendly team that are happy to talk things through with you in a non-patronising yet thorough and understandable way.
We were so impressed and secure with AGIDEA that they now also look after our website hosting solution on AWS as well.”
Developing Content Management System (CMS) for healthcare charities and professional membership organisations
In the broader sphere of public health, we’ve had the great opportunity to work with the British Thoracic Society (BTS) and to take their Umbraco website and Microsoft .NET membership systems through a programme of continuous improvement. We have worked closely with BTS since 2013, developing their website, integrating their Microsoft Dynamics CRM system with Umbraco and delivering the Respiratory Futures spin off project. We love seeing how technology can connect people and bring communities and members closer together. Seeing this evolve with BTS and Respiratory Futures has been a very rewarding and exciting experience. Sheila Edwards Chief Executive at British Thoracic Society said:
“Sam and his company has transformed the way we present ourselves via our website and, importantly. has transformed the way I have been thinking of developing my organisation's comms strategy. He is very creative and has a great way of suggesting improvements to someone who is not naturally tech-savvy (but knows what she wants).”
The whole team at Agidea, are proud to support digital communications and digital transformation in the National Health Service. Championing cost effective, high quality, open source, solutions for web, mobile and content management systems.