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A bit of background 

Our partnership with the NHS began with the planned merger of two NHS Trusts.

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (TST) and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Sompar) had worked together in an alliance for years – but they planned to merge on 1 April 2020, to integrate community, mental health and learning disability services, plus acute hospital services.

They’d create a new trust: Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, the first integrated trust of its kind on England’s mainland.

A woman using the NHS resolutions website

The opportunity 

The organisation’s new website needed to provide useful information for patients, families and the public about the trust’s services. It all had to be based around a website structure that reflected the integration of community, mental health and learning disability services and acute hospital services.

The key to success would be creating one central location for all information and content.

To achieve this, Somerset NHS Foundation trust needed a creative technical partner to develop a new, accessible, responsive, reliable and future-proofed website, to provide frontline users with a high-quality online experience, while editors from multiple services has a system that was easy to use.

After a competitive tendering process, the trusts appointed our 6B team to provide a stand-out, highly-functional solution – a unique “digital front door”.

Person visiting NHS Trust site on smartphone

What we did 

Our team designed, developed and implemented a public-facing, highly-accessible, open source microsite to support the merger, unifying vast amounts of information into one integrated, intuitive and responsive system.  

Over 180 services had to be brought onto a single platform, yet each had to retain content management autonomy. A strong content modelling strategy was key, with a structure built for multiple audiences. 

We built the microsite using Atomic Design Principles to ensure the greatest flexibility – designing in this way, working from the smallest elements of a page upwards, ensured that the solution matched the expectation of many different stakeholders. 

A few key features included: 

  • A clear, intuitive navigation  
  • A user-friendly content management system  
  • Embedded Google Maps to filter/highlight locations and services across the county 
  • Flexible forms that adapt to user information, with auto-response emails  
  • Pop-up notifications triggered via the CMS, notifying patients of restrictions and closures relevant to them 
  • Secure payments for the Trusts’ charity partners, and updated donation features 
  • An appointment booking/cancellation facility  
  • Advanced search functionality 
  • Direct job application submission via third party integration  
  • Accessibility features, such as text-to-speech 

Testimonials

“We’ve enjoyed working with 6B immensely over the past few years to launch and further develop the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust website. From the initial discovery phase through to planning and delivery, the project has been a success, and we’ve continued to work with the team to enhance, maintain and improve the platform through regular discussions and planned maintenance.”

Natalie Lee, Web and Digital Design Communications Officer, NHS Somerset

How’d it go? 

Let’s re-cap our project aims:

 

– Reflect the new trust with a single platform

– Create a high-quality digital experience for patients and staff

– Create a modern, accessible website that reflects the trust’s integrated approach

 

The site launched across Somerset in 2020, now has approximately 50,000 active users per month – and we’re proud to say we’ve achieved these aims.

 

The new site and CMS allow content to be easily updated to suit a range of communication campaigns and individual service needs. Coupled with the enhanced navigation and user experience, the solution has brought time and efficiency to their team – and the platform has grown since to include microsites for the Somerset Collaboration Hub, and Love Musgrove, for The Official Charity of Musgrove Park Hospital.

 

We’ve continued to maintain and support the main platform on a monthly basis, and develop innovative features such as chatbots and video conferencing integration.

 

Our continued focus on the Healthcare and HealthTech sector is underpinned by our successful ongoing partnership with the NHS. Developing solutions that matter, while providing real, positive change for our clients, is at the heart of everything we do. 

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