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Annual Report 2019-2020

“We pride ourselves on ensuring that our customers are completely satisfied with the service they receive.” 

Operational Statistics

136 customer organisations supported

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3 ISO standards

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232,138 Service Desk logged calls

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19,240 end users

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135,212 coded episodes

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31 video conferencing rooms

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147 physical servers

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456 virtual servers

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114 Knowledge Portal models

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47,855 access of the Knowledge Portal

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323 clinical users trained within Primary Care

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2,477 clinical users trained within Secondary Care

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819 desktop users trained within Secondary Care

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13 website and/or applications migrations completed

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4 websites and/or systems developed

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19 videos created

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A few things we've achieved this year...

‘Excellence in Informatics – Accrediting Your Workforce’

First organisation in Yorkshire & Humber to achieve ‘Excellence in Informatics – Accrediting Your Workforce’ Level 1

THIS is committed to investing in personal and professional development and has been an active member of the Skills Development Network (SDN) for several years.  The accreditation scheme, Excellence in Informatics, was introduced to the Yorkshire & Humber region and THIS agreed it would be beneficial to engage in the process.

Accreditation of our workforce would provide a set of standards aimed at promoting the personal and professional development of our informatics staff.  The standards address five key areas – infrastructure, personal development and career planning, professional development, workforce planning and people management. There are three levels of Accreditation and the process involves peer assessment by two assessors, including an existing Informatics Director and another senior informatics person with a strong interest in staff development.

Benefits of the Scheme:

  • Raises the importance of workforce development for the informatics function.
  • Ensures good communication practices are in place across the service.
  • Creates a development culture, underpinned by a competence-based approach.
  • Helps promote an environment of professionalism, initiative, enterprise and innovation.
  • Excellent tool for sharing good practice across all organisations.
  • Offers public acknowledgement that the culture in the function/service is one of development, empowerment, and engagement.

During the Summer of 2019 we started to gather evidence against the Standards required for Level 1 and uploaded them into the SDN portal, where our assessors could review prior to the pre assessment visit on 20th November.  Following this review, we identified some gaps in evidence before our final assessment visit, including staff interviews, on 17th January 2020.

We received formal notification that we had been successful and feel very proud to now hold this level of accreditation and that we are the first organisation in Yorkshire and the Humber to achieve this.  We look forward to working with other organisations to offer advice and share best practice across the region.

Transitioning Bradford District & Craven CCG services

Having been awarded the IM&T support contract for Bradford District & Craven CCG in April 2019, planning and preparations began in readiness for the transition of key services.  While The Health Informatics Service is well experienced in transitioning customer organisations, our focus and objectives were clear and work quickly got underway to ensure these services migrated as seamlessly as possible.  Working closely with key personnel within Bradford to mobilise each service line effectively without impacting patient care was our primary goal.   

The following service lines were scoped for Transition.

  • Service Desk Support
  • General Infrastructure Services
  • Desktop Maintenance and Support Services
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
  • Asset Management and Software Licensing Service
  • Cyber Security
  • Supplier Management and Procurement Service
  • Training Service
  • Project and Change Management Service (including National Strategic Implementation Service)
  • Client Relationship Management Service
  • Informatics Strategy Support and Planning
  • Estates Strategy Service
  • Primary Care Enabling Services “PCES” - Core Services and Support RA, NHS mail & IG
  • Clinical Safety Assurance

A Transition Manager and Programme Team were assigned and for the first three months were busy gathering IT intelligence and collating background information including hours of scoping service line activities, interrelating with the incumbent provider ‘eMBED Health Consortium’ around their current service delivery model.   Physical ‘go sees’ we're arranged to meet eMBED personnel to talk through the technical pieces of the project to gain a better understanding of both the infrastructure and the skills and experience of the staff who would move across as part the transition.

Over the summer months further visits to Bradford’s head office (Scorex House) took place as we progressed through the planning stages.  Internal meetings between Bradford & THIS increased in frequency as we focused on the tasks ahead; transitioning approximately 2800 service users 81 GP practices and 3 CCG HQs throughout the Bradford and Craven localities was a significant exercise.  One the key milestones was to ensure maintenance contracts were secured and in place.

With the ever-increasing demand for digital services, it was important we focused on the resilience and user satisfaction via a sustainable, innovative and flexible delivery model which in turn would enable the CCGs to operate more flexibly to meet the changing demands of both the local and wider health economy.  These IT services will enable the effective commissioning and delivery of services across the CCGs Health Care Network.  The scope needed to include compliant General Medical Services (GMS), Personal Medical Services (PMS) and Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) to meet the contractual conditions regarding IT services.

The Transition focused on two Workstreams (1) IT Services (2) HR each running simultaneously within their respective areas.  Staff meetings (121s) were also in the diaries to meet with our HR representative for our transferring colleagues,  followed by an introduction and presentation by Rob Birkett - Director of Digital Services together with the Service Managers around our organisational structure and history with a QA session to help transferring colleagues learn more about us and what we do.

We kept up the momentum as we moved into the final months of the transition, internal support meetings were increased as we validated each service line against the mobilisation plan as the countdown drew nearer.  We were keen to meet our customers and promote our services, visits to the Bradford Practice Manager & GP group meetings were well received with positive feedback that customers were excited to be working with us.

Communication was key to the whole transition and a dedicated website was created https://transition.this.nhs.uk/service-delivery/  for easy access to information pertaining to the  transition. 

As the clock started to count down the last 30 days (T-30) key stakeholders, THIS and the incumbent provider ‘eMBED’ all now working hard to ensure each service area was ready.  HR confirmed everything was in place and the new staff meet and greets were set for the Wednesday morning (1st April).  The Project Boards provided the assurance we were good to go for a smooth transition it was all systems go!

1st April 2020 08:00am

Wow we did it! We had successfully transitioned the whole Bradford District CCG, 2800 service users their entire network & infrastructure, taking control of their two data centres with zero impact to clinical services, it couldn’t have gone better - Service Desk were receiving calls and support teams were poised and ready.

A fantastic Team effort from everyone involved!

Here are just a few comments received on the day!

“Well done and thank you Team THIS and Go Team Bradford! It’s been a truly amazing start”

“Hats off to Margo and the Service Desk Team for delivering such a great opening day”

Simon Wilson. Associate Director of Digital, Airedale Wharfedale and Craven CCG, Bradford City CCG and Bradford Districts CCG

The National Pathology Exchange (NPEx)

NPEx experienced its busiest and most exciting year to date throughout 2019 to 2020. The team continued to do what they do best by delivering a crucial and enabling service into laboratories across the NHS all while taking on new challenges and projects.

NPEx’s Integrated Care Systems (ICS) project entered its second year and the team continued to work hard to deliver each of the four workstreams.  As part of the Complex Reporting workstream, a number of Trusts are deploying Virology tests.  We have established an alternative connection method for our non-NHS/HSCN customers aligned to the Business Continuity and Resilience objectives.  The NPEx team is also working with national bodies and, locally, to secure standard accreditation for software and service management processes.

March concluded the collaborative element of NSS’s National Laboratories Programme in partnership with NPEx. This accomplished project developed a distributed service model that would contribute towards the sustainability of the NHS in Scotland. NPEx was deployed across all of NHS Scotland’s Health Boards as a new technology which would contribute to making laboratory testing more efficient, effective, equitable, resilient and affordable alongside improving patient care by enabling the delivery of ‘the right test, in the right place at the right time’. The NPEx team travelled to Edinburgh to host the Scotland User Group in February to mark the end of a successful project and engage Scottish users to ensure they continue to get the most out of NPEx.

In the spirit of ‘exchange’, the Scotland User Group was one of many outreach events to help widen their network and ensure existing users got the most out of the service. It was a busy year of onsite visits alongside more targeted events. The NPEx team partnered up with Clinysis, a laboratory information systems supplier, to run a collaborative workshop to discuss how both organisations could work together to enable the digital transfer of complex data sets between NPEx laboratories and their information systems. Engaging with the wider pathology community and all their stakeholders was a priority for the NPEx team to ensure they are constantly adding value back into the service for their users. For this reason, the team attended the Thames Audit Group’s presentation event to learn about how NPEx could evolve to support the widely reported challenges across laboratories in the South East of England.

Additionally, the team hosted an outreach event in Cork to offer their laboratory colleagues in the Republic of Ireland insight into how the solution could add value across the Irish sea. This was not the only trip the team took to Ireland; UK NEQAS, a long time partner of the service for digitally delivering quality proficiency testing, hosted a Pan-Disciplinary Scientific Meeting where the team were able to network with members of the Irish pathology community while showcasing their work within the proficiency testing arena. This was particularly pertinent as this was the year that NPEx collaborated with UK NEQAS Immunology, Immunochemistry and Allergy (this new NPEx connection offers clinical and business opportunities by providing participants within its proficiency testing schemes with the high-quality data transfer, error mitigation and patient care).

The annual, national NPEx User Group was the biggest event of the year and went down as a huge success. Hosted at the Royal College of Pathologists in London, The NPEx team welcomed over 100 delegates from across the UK NHS, private laboratories, Europe and Australia. This year’s keynote speaker, Jo Martin, the President of the Royal College of Pathologists, spoke about how the pathology industry needs to adapt to the world around it and implementing NPEx is one of the ways it can do this.

All this hard work, and the twelve years previously, was deservingly recognised later in the year and the team celebrated this success at a black-tie event. In February, the NPEx team attended the Medilink North of England Healthcare Business Awards and picked up the ‘Partnership with the NHS: Advances in Digital Healthcare Award’.  The award commended the longstanding, unique, collaborative partnership between THIS and X-Lab, which has successfully delivered NPEx at scale across the UK NHS. The award recognised the success that can come from collaborating on industry expertise, technical innovation, and business strategy.

When COVID-19 reared its head in the UK at the start of March 2020, it is no surprise that the team were ready and equipped to scale and harness the service to help the UK’s efforts. While the pandemic is very much ongoing, in March came the mandate from NHSX, NHS England and NHS Improvement that all COVID-19 tests referred to other laboratories within the NHS were to be sent via NPEx. Additionally, this meant that the remaining unconnected NHS laboratories in England rapidly deployed the solution in a number of weeks. All NHS laboratories across England and Scotland now have access to rapid turnaround times and safer data transfers thanks to the efforts of the NPEx team.

The coming year is anticipated to be even busier as the pandemic continues and the COVID-19 projects that arose after March continue. NPEx will continue to play a central role in relieving the challenges faced across healthcare.

Learn more about NPEx

Office 365 Implementation

Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust set out to deliver the implementation of electronic systems to reduce the use of paper documentation.  Replacing this with robust electronic solutions, offering greater efficiency, visibility and patient safety in the delivery of clinical care across the Trusts 2 main hospital and satellite sites.

As part of the Modernisation Programme the implementation of Office 365 (Office Suite 2016) was required as Office 2010 was coming to the end of life (support) in 2020.  It was also necessary to ensure the Trust is compliant with the correct licenses for all end users and also have the ability to apply the most up to date patches and protection against malware and have a cyber secure network in line with NHS Digital’s directive.  The outcome of the project was to implement a cloud-based solution and reduce the cost to the organisation of paying for unused licenses.    

The objective was to deliver against the corporate strategy of ‘transforming and improving patient care’ with cloud based storage of documentation that is easily accessible to those authorised to do so.  ‘Keeping the base safe’ ensuring a cyber secure network, safe storage of data in the cloud and safe and secure email functionality.  ‘A workforce for the future’ ensuring staff have access to Office 365 with a licence appropriate to their role.  ‘Financial Sustainability’ reducing the cost of licences and deploy only to those who need to use Office 365.

The benefit of implementing Office 365 improved the Leavers Process, working closely with Workforce Development, HR and IG to ensure that unused AD accounts were deleted thus releasing licenses.  There is potential to reduce on-site data storage which has not yet been fully realised at the moment.  It was important to ensure greater adherence to national legislation and local guidelines with improved compliance with IG policy since the introduction of GDPR, ensuring the Trust is compliant with the correct licenses; having the ability to apply the most up to date patches and protection against malware and have and maintain a cyber secure network in line with NHS Digital’s directive.  Future updates and patches will be implemented more easily and quickly keeping the network safe and have the ability to move to the latest version of the software without additional cost.

Finance Report

 

For the 2019/2020 Financial Year, The Health Informatics Service (THIS) delivered a contribution to the Trust of £2.310m against a plan of £2.415m, an adverse variance of £0.105m.

AreaPlan 2019-2020
£000'
Actual 2019-2020
£000'
Actual 2018-2019
£000'
Operating Revenue-£16,699-£17,194-£12,881
Operating Expenses
Pay
Non-pay Operating
Expenses

£8,687

£5,597

£8,907

£5,977

£8,020

£4,776
Total Operating Expenses£14,284£14,884£12,796
Contribution-£2,415-£2,310-£85

 

In year income has exceeded plan with a rise in the level of ad hoc income outside of SLAs (e.g. NPEx expansion, project management opportunities and technical updates for client organisations - Windows 10 etc.).

Expenditure has exceeded plan, recognising the cost impact of additional capacity delivery and an increase in the actual costs of supporting CHFT requirements.

The latter has now been incorporated into the 2020/21 CHFT SLA and associated income with quarterly reviews to ensure service requests remain within the SLA.

Net Promoter Score

Our running score for 2019/20 was 73.3% with the maximum score being 84.1%.

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