Cambridge University Hospitals Trust

Creating a digital friend for patients of Cambridge University Hospitals

Image from iOS.jpg
Katy Cherry

Director of Product Services 12 Jan 2021 3 min read

We love working with our wonderful NHS and were super excited to have the opportunity to work with Cambridge University Hospitals Trust to refresh and replatform their website onto Wagtail. You may know the Trust better by the name of their main hospital, Addenbrookes, a world-leading research and teaching hospital, recently host to my favourite programme 'Surgeons on the edge of life'.

Their old Drupal website had become cluttered over time, making it hard for patients to find what they need and failing to provide the Trust with the flexibility to manage their site. This was brought rapidly to the foreground when in March the hospital underwent huge operational change due to Covid, with a need to rapidly and regularly communicate to those needing to use the Trust’s services.

Putting patients first

It was clear from discovery that the website first and foremost needed to serve their diverse patient population; giving patients, carers and visitors the information they seeked to reassure they’re in safe hands, reduce avoidable angst associated with a hospital visit or stay, and as it transpired, most importantly to provide parking information!

We established a set of success metrics for improving patient satisfaction and reducing unnecessary use of hospital services for enquiries such as finding contact details and wayfinding. We also needed to realise the Trust’s objectives of furthering the hospital’s standing as a world-leader in collaboration, innovation and cutting-edge care without detracting from the patient focus.

Cambridge University Website image

Having established and tested a new IA, we used the NHS pattern library as a starting point for the new look and feel – which brings with it UX and accessibility best practices – then introduced elements of spark to their key landing pages, to give the Trust their own identity. With patient stories and positive images threaded through the site, the prototype tested well with Addenbrookes’ patients and after a few iterations we were ready to build.

Working with Torchbox has been an education. Fast paced and enthusiastic throughout. The ability to work together and overcome the challenges presented by a worldwide pandemic have made this journey far from straightforward but all the more rewarding.

Michael Frost, Digital Editor, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Time is of the essence

We built the Trust’s site in just over 7 weeks, alongside which the Trust’s communications team had the herculean task of developing the new content, from scratch, including the many hundreds of Services and Departments! To support this effort, we bulk loaded the content for their Services and released functional areas that needed the most content development to their production environment early, so they could be populating the content while we completed the build.

Cambridge University Hospital IA

Why Wagtail?

Wagtail is no stranger to NHS sites, it’s used for, which has been getting over 70 million views a month during Covid-19, the NHS Digital Service Manual (similar to the GDS Design Manual), and the new NHS X website, and is widely used at NHS Improvement and a number of other trusts (we’re currently replatforming Great Ormond Street Hospital from Drupal to Wagtail).

For Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, it has enabled faster creation and maintenance of content across departments, while providing key parts of the Trust, such as The Rosie Hospital and Cancer Services, with distinct branding and content components.

We are delighted with our new website. It provides us with a distinct look and feel that stays true to our identity, yet manages to capture the fundamentals set out in the tried and tested NHS pattern library. Giving us a unique yet familiar website.

Michael Frost, Digital Editor, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We're looking forward to seeing how the new site is helping the Trust to achieve its objectives and will shortly be working on the first post-launch enhancement sprint which will enable Wagtail's multi-site feature to support the consolidation of Cambridge University Hospitals' microsites into Wagtail.

Image from iOS.jpg
Katy Cherry

Director of Product Services 12 Jan 2021 3 min read

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