NHS Education for Scotland Delivers Unified Digital Platform with Fruition Partners and ServiceNow


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In a nutshell:

  • Special health board delivering education and training support for both clinical and non-clinical staff in NHSScotland.
  • ServiceNow and Fruition Partners chosen to support ambitious Digital Transformation strategy
  • Single point of access for IT, HR, facilities and finance support, plus key training and education resources
  • Facilitating delivery of personalised content and ‘consumerised’ IT experience

“The Fruition consultants were able to advise on best practice based on their experience in the sector, and that was a huge benefit.”

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is a special health board responsible for supporting health services in Scotland by developing and delivering education and training for those who work in NHSScotland (NHSS).

With an annual budget of more than £400million, and employing 1,000 staff, NES provides services to the entire workforce across Scottish health service: its vision is to provide ‘Quality Education for a Healthier Scotland.’

NES is currently undertaking a radical digital transformation to provide a single, cloud-based point of access to all its digital services delivered internally and in support of its external stakeholders and partners in the health and social care community across Scotland.

It has been working with ServiceNow and Fruition Partners to provide the platform for this transformation using ServiceNow’s capabilities to manage finance, facilities management and IT services, as well as support the training and education services delivered by NES. NES is now looking to extend its use of the platform to support corporate planning, HR and risk management.

Archipelagos and silos

Before the digital transformation project began, Christopher Wroath, Interim Director of Digital Transformation, describes the NES IT infrastructure as “a series of archipelagos with no single architecture or strategy. For example the medical, dental and pharmacy professions had their own systems but they weren’t joined up – they worked OK but we knew we could do so much more.”

The goal of the digital transformation strategy was to create a single-cloud based platform that would deliver a unified, easy experience, and join up all the silos of data enabling NES to better understand its users and their needs. Put simply, Christopher Wroath says “The vision is to create a user-centric, –(Amazon comes with baggage)-platform for users that personalises their experience, and learns over time about their training needs and interests.”

ServiceNow and Fruition selected as starting point

Creating unified IT support was one of the early planks of the project, and Wroath was already aware of ServiceNow’s capabilities from his time working in Whitehall.

Following a competitive evaluation of potential solutions via the Government’s G-Cloud supplier framework, NES appointed Fruition Partners UK, a Master Solutions Partner for ServiceNow, to implement the cloud-based solution. With a demanding schedule, the initial roll-out of the ServiceNow IT service management suite was completed within 30 days.

In this first phase, the team rolled out the self-service portal which speeds employees’ access to many common requests they have, such as computer issues that arise, as well as access to the multiple training management systems and repositories of training materials. The underlying service management technologies include incident and problem management, change management and a shared knowledge base.

30 day initial rollout with minimal teething problems

Christopher Wroath is full of praise for Fruition Partners’ role in delivering ServiceNow so smoothly to NES: “The fact that we had so few teething problems is largely down to the Fruition consultants. I thought I knew what I wanted, but they were able to advise on best practice based on their experience in the sector, and that was a huge benefit.”

Paul Donnelly, Cloud Transition Manager at NES, comments on the favourable user reactions to the unified platform, saying, “From the first days of the rollout, the user feedback has been extremely positive, and we have far greater information about how IT support is being accessed and managed.”

Following the initial rollout, the NES Digital Transformation team has gone on to the next phases of development for the cloud-based portal, extending it to other IT functions, HR and facilities management.

Resulting benefits will include greatly improved processes for functions such as employee ‘onboarding’ and ‘offboarding’; a unified facilities helpdesk and room booking system; and a single point of access for employees’ enquiries about finance and payroll.

Ambitious plans for next phases

Having seen the capabilities of ServiceNow in delivering unified internal services, the team is now starting to integrate access and support for a range of key training delivery tools used by the NHS community across Scotland.

These include Turas, the training management system which holds information on NHS Scotland medical and dental trainees, trainers and programmes; and SOAR, which is Scotland’s one-system approach to medical appraisal and revalidation: the process all doctors go through to re-licence every five years (http://www.appraisal.nes.scot.nhs.uk/ ).

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