Improving the NHSX website during the pandemic

The site keeps NHS staff informed at a time when good information is more important than ever

We recently worked with NHSX to help them improve their website so it can be easily edited to provide vital information during the coronavirus pandemic. 

We moved the website onto a Wagtail Content Management System (CMS) which made it much easier for NHSX to update the site and give their NHS colleagues the latest news, guidance, and resources. A small team was created, which included our partners at Hactar, with the ambition of getting the site migrated in a 9 day sprint.

Providing essential information during a pandemic

NHSX has only been around for a short while. They’re a joint unit between NHS England, NHS Improvement, and the Department of Health and Social Care. Their remit is to provide standards and guidance on how technology is used across the NHS.

Their previous website did a good job of letting people know who they are and what they do but updating it was a manual process. It also required the input of a development team in NHS Digital. When the coronavirus pandemic started, the NHSX team needed to make changes quickly and often, and the development team were understandably very busy. So we worked with them to quickly build a CMS that the team could use themselves to provide essential information online.

Many of the project team hadn’t worked together before. And doing our first project during a lockdown in 9 days was a significant challenge. The NHSX communications team were also very busy and had limited capacity to design and write any new content.

Working on a new project remotely

The team took some time out of the very tight schedule to get to know each other so we could communicate more easily and openly throughout the sprint. With just a single sprint, we needed to establish ways to reflect and adapt pretty quickly. By the second week of the sprint it was clear that we had to do some difficult prioritisation. The team decided that it was more important to transfer the content from the existing site over creating a new search tool.

As it turned out, we were able to use the extra days needed by the NHSX communications team to sign off on the website to build the search function too. So when we launched the site last week, all of the required functionality was delivered with the quality that both we and NHSX expect.

The communications team now have direct access to the content on their website and are able to publish new advice and tools. This keeps NHS staff and teams informed at a time when good information is more important than ever.