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https://digitalhealth.blog.gov.uk/2020/09/24/nhse-i-new-website-alpha-assessment/

NHSE/I New Website Alpha Assessment

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Alpha, Assurance, Service assessments

Text saying "Service Assessment" with DHSC approved brand colours
From: NHSX
Assessment date: 14th September 2020
Stage: Alpha
Result: Met
Service provider: NHS England and Improvement

Service description

After a large merging process, NHS England and NHS Improvement are now (except for a few legal functions) one single organisation.

The single website is there to reflect these changes, show the new combined offering/merger and be the trusted source for information.

This service aims to solve the problem by reducing confusion and mixed messaging in the health care service around leadership and guidance.

Service users

This service is for two types of users:

  • Primary users: 
  1. External: Every role that works within the NHS, as part of workforce and leadership, some examples are: GPs, Practice Managers, Primary Care Contracts, Financial Controller, Medical Directors, Chief Nurse etc.
  2. Internal: NHS England and Improvement roles, such as: Head of Publishing, Statistical Analyst, Director of Comms and Financial Control etc.
  • Secondary users: Public users, such as patients, general public, carers, MPs, communities etc.

Report contents

  1. Understand users and their needs
  2. Solve a whole problem for users
  3. Provide a joined-up experience across all channels
  4. Make the service simple to use
  5. Make sure everyone can use the service
  6. Have a multidisciplinary team
  7. Use agile ways of working
  8. Iterate and improve frequently
  9. Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy
  10. Define what success looks like and publish performance data
  11. Choose the right tools and technology
  12. Make new source code open
  13. Use and contribute to open standards, common components and patterns
  14. Operate a reliable service

1. Understand users and their needs

Decision

The service met point 1 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has approached building their understanding of users based on task orientation rather than job roles, which is a more appropriate way of understanding their user groups.
  • The team have clearly mapped the pain points of their users' navigation of the current site, and have designed and tested prototypes with users to ease these pain points.

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Continue to build their understanding of content developers and how webpages are populated, and whether content is meeting end user needs. 
  • Recruit users for research outside of their networks for research sessions.
  • Conduct research with users with accessibility needs. 
  • Continue to test search and navigation with users trying to find real content answers to questions.

2. Solve a whole problem for users

Decision

The service met point 2 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team conducted a comprehensive discovery that highlighted a number of pain points across the service, including content printing and confusion with other healthcare system websites, and is steadily prioritising and addressing them.  
  • The focus on content and groupings to date (based on research and data) allowed the team to consider how the service should be shaped to best serve the users.    

3. Provide a joined-up experience across all channels

Decision

The service met point 3 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team engaged with the call centre staff regarding queries received and is conscious of how those relate to the content.  

4. Make the service simple to use

Decision

The service  met point 4 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team iterated navigation a number of times, analysing and learning from each version to improve the experience in the next one. 

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Continue to test the different models of navigation and returning search results with a larger sample of users to ensure results are robust and findings hold up during unassisted task-based sessions. 

5. Make sure everyone can use the service

Decision

The service met point 5 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has considered the needs of users with accessibility and assisted digital needs and made an effort to reach out to them. 

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Research with and present on a considerably broader sample of users for whom using the website can be particularly challenging. 

6. Have a multidisciplinary team

Decision

The service met point 6 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team was clearly working well despite not only NHSE and NHSI coming together to create it but also engaging with two SME suppliers. It was interesting to hear how lack of face to face interaction enabled the team to go work together more effectively under those circumstances.
  • While no clear team for the next stage was presented, the funding was secure and it was clear there was intent for all the crucial roles to be present. 

What the team needs to explore

At their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Present a clear iteration plan for beyond public beta, including how the team will be resourced and work together once the new service is live.     

7. Use agile ways of working

Decision

The service met point 7 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team is working well together, thanks to clarity of goals and establishing ways of working early and with participation from everyone. 
  • The entire team was engaged in research and all aspects of work were aiming to solve the needs of the users. 
  • Clearly articulated their biggest blockers to date and how they have worked to overcome them to improve processes in the next stage of delivery.

8. Iterate and improve frequently

Decision

The service met point 8 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team iterated the service towards a goal and learned rapidly about what works and doesn’t - and had the freedom to implement those changes.         

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Test the design concepts with developed content for the site rather than placeholder text.

9. Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy

Decision

The service met  point 9 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has existing physical and technology security procedures in the palace to ensure the site is secure. 
  • The team has engaged with the department's information governance teams. 

10. Define what success looks like and publish performance data

Decision

The service met point 10 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team established clear objectives for the new service that will be evaluated based on both user feedback and data. 

11. Choose the right tools and technology

Decision

The service met point 11 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has ensured that their technology choices meet their users needs. 
  • The teams tested the discovery finding that Azure and Wagtail should be used to ensure that they were appropriate.
  • The team is making use of open source technologies where possible. 
  • Is actively working towards publishing in HTML instead of attached documents and doing a great job of articulating this approach to NHSEI. 

12. Make new source code open

Decision

The service met point 12 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The code will be hosted on NHS England's open github repository. 

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Publish the code. 

13. Use and contribute to open standards, common components and patterns

Decision

The service met  point 13 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has made extensive use of open source software. 
  • The team is considering the use of Kubernates to ensure that the service is portable and reduce vendor lock in. 

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • Consider how they can contribute to the open source community for example the NHS wagtail community. 

14. Operate a reliable service

Decision

The service met point 14 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • The team has measures in place to mitigate any loss of service including failing over to static content. 

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • What further steps they need to take to ensure that the service is resilient such as utilising multiple availability zones.

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