North East Ambulance Service Drives Digital Transformation
About North East Ambulance Service
The North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) operates across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Darlington and Teesside. They provide an Unscheduled Care Service to respond to emergency calls, and a Scheduled Care service which provides pre-planned non-emergency transport for patients in the region.
NEAS were working through a Digital Transformation Project with Office 365, including a new SharePoint Online Intranet to replace their previous system, and incorporating Office 365 Apps into their internal communications landscape.
NEAS employs 3,000 staff, working across the North East of England with many staff spending most of their working day remotely in ambulances with little time to interact with the organisation. Communication is challenging, but vitally important in order to keep an efficient, safe service operating.
At the outset of the project, we identified 5 key success factors:
- Reduce the high level of email traffic sent throughout the organisation
- Provide a solution that’s easy to access outside of the organisation
- Provide an improved user experience by utilising modern document management processes
- Provide an improved collaboration platform to allow users to work together more efficiently
- Provide a solution that reduces the number of paper-based processes that are followed within the organisation.
We developed a systematic approach to collecting requirements for Corporate Intranet projects. SharePoint Online Intranet Accelerator “The Hub” gives an ideal framework for quickly assembling the core elements, giving us time to focus on adding value by creating solutions to match the specific needs of the situation.
As there were many aspects to the project, a multi-disciplinary team was created, covering communications, IT, data governance and operations. This team allowed us to consult more widely with the organisation, in particular looking at the current intranet and online tools, and surveying end-users to find out what worked and what didn’t.
Over the course of the project, we successfully built a new SharePoint Online Intranet based on The Hub that was fully mobile friendly. This allows the distribution of news, policies, HR information and procedural information to everybody in NEAS, available 24/7 as people have time or need to access it.
Other improvements that we made included:
- Directories for data management, such as, people and location finders.
- Introduction of Site Provisioning processes to allow for multiple sites to be generated by the Intranet Project Team using templates and automated processes – utilising SharePoint, Flow and Azure.
- A full rebuild/rebrand of the Emergency Operations Centre SharePoint structure to allow critical information to be located quickly during 24/7 emergency shift work.
- A SharePoint, Power App & Power BI Digital Service to manage critical policies & procedures within the organisation. This system provided read/acceptance receipts for important documents – everything from HR procedures to safe delivery of medication procedures.
- Training and mentoring of key NEAS Employees to allow them the succeed as Digital Superheroes, Content Authors and SharePoint Developers.