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The story of two NHS Trusts merging and discovering modern technology

28 October 2020

Tags:

  • Our product
  • Patient Safety
  • Primary Care

In our webinar with Digital Health, we spoke to Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (Somerset NHS FT) about their recent merging of two Trusts: what were the challenges, what did they need from technology, and how did Radar help meet these requirements and overcome the challenges? We then look at Somerset NHS FT’s plans for the future and what they’re excited about. 

The speakers were Paul Johnson, CEO at Radar Healthcare, Stephen Thomson, Associate Director of Integrated Governance at Somerset NHS FT, and Paula Wiggins, Systems Manager at Somerset NHS FT.

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The beginning

On 1st April, two NHS Trusts started merging to form Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. Each of the two Trusts used a different risk management system. Somerset NHS FT went out to tender, looking for a system which delivered what the merging Trusts needed. They developed specifications: 

  • Flexibility – the software needed to be customisable for their complex needs 
  • Data & visualisation – their choice of system needed to use data effectively and clearly show results in graphs 
  • Easy to share – Somerset NHS FT required a platform which made it easy to share information and results across the organisation 
  • Easy to use – the software needed to be simple for staff to use, in order to keep engagement levels high and encourage further development towards a culture of improvement and learning 

When the requirements were sent to tender, Somerset NHS FT received more bids than expected. It made them realise what technology is available out there beyond the usual two systems. Radar Healthcare was successful in their bid and was new to both parts of the merging organisation. It provided them with an opportunity to start fresh with an intuitive and easy to use software. 

Putting a risk management system to tender made us realise what technology is available out there beyond the usual two providers.

Stephen Thomson, Associate Director of Integrated Governance at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

The time to change 

Paula described the complexities of bringing together a new organisation of 10,000 staff, lots of services and different work streams as like a jigsaw. She explained that straight away they could see just how customisable Radar was. It became obvious how they could capture their information and learning in a much better way than they had previously. The flexibility of Radar makes it a great fit for them as it’s able to cope with the complexities of such a large organisation. They are also able to tailor processes around individual teams within the organisation whilst maintaining visibility holistically. 

Radar’s system made bringing the two organisations together much more doable for us.

Paula Wiggins - Systems Manager at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Radar is interoperable; it’s able to speak to other systems already in the organisation, making it easier to use. These values and benefits are appreciated from not only an organisational level but also a user level.  

For us, the part of Radar that really stood out was the analytics. Everyone expects systems to be able to display data, but what really stood out for us as a wow moment, when we saw something different, is when the smart AI can show you this is what you do know, now let me show you something you don’t know.

Paula Wiggins - Systems Manager at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Paula explained how the modern analytics from Radar are exciting and can show you something you don’t already know. They questioned if the system was too modern for them but thought why not, why can’t we make use of this, and now they’re very excited to see the results! 

The future

6 months into the merger of the two Trusts, they’ve been brought together in a way that has primarily been focused on patient care and pathways. Somerset NHS FT are excited to be looking at other potential areas of Radar; the document management feature was not in the original tender, but they realised how useful it could be and are looking at implementing it. 

Radar has actually really helped us as a new merging NHS organisation to bring together the teams that were previously separate. In doing this we can also align our governance processes in the organisation. This has helped our teams work together and drive joint learning, by taking a step back and seeing what is possible.

Paula Wiggins - Systems Manager at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

What’s next for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is focusing on excellence reporting which only half the organisation carried out prior to Radar. They’re also rolling out compliment processes, structured judgement reviews, and tailored dashboards. They acknowledge that they have very specific needs, but Radar can do so much and meet these.  

Somerset NHS FT said that they would recommend Radar, and that it needs to be right for your organisation. The team at Radar are friendly and supportive to make the transition to a new system as smooth as possible. 

Missed the webinar?

Some of our viewers had excellent questions and these were answered live on the video. If you missed the webinar, don’t worry, you can watch the recording below: 

If you’d like to see how we can help your Trust, book a demo or contact us and our friendly team will be more than happy to help. 

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