The Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust

Industry
Health Care
Location
Cornwall, United Kingdom
Products & Services
Microsoft SharePoint
The challenge
RCHT had a SharePoint 2010 farm that had been built but was not being widely used within the organisation. The Central IT Services (CITS) and Information Services departments had both embarked on projects to increase the usage of the SharePoint farm through different routes. Both teams had found that the learning they were participating in was good but provided little progression. In conclusion, they needed more insight into their different development streams’ capabilities and best practices.

About The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust

The hospital serves a population of around 450,000 people, a figure that holidaymakers can double during the busiest times of the year. The Trust employs approximately 5,000 staff and has a budget of approximately £330 million. The Trust is responsible for the provision of services at three sites (comprising approximately 750 beds): Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske, Truro), West Cornwall Hospital (Penzance), and St Michael’s Hospital (Hayle).

The Trust

The Trust has teaching hospitals status as part of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) and University of Exeter Medical School. Keeping at the forefront medical advances, the Trust is continually developing its clinical services and is committed to maximising the range of specialist care offered locally. Allied to this is a growing reputation for research and innovation.

The Knowledge Spa on the Royal Cornwall Hospital site, the Cornwall base for medical students and the University of Plymouth Faculty of Health and Social Work, has further enhanced a strong reputation for training and education. This plays a vital part in attracting and retaining the Trust’s highly skilled teams of doctors, nurses and other health professionals who care for well over half a million patients each year.

Reflecting the high standards of care on offer, recent patient surveys have shown that over 90 percent of patients rated their overall experience of the services as excellent, very good or good.

The Challenge

To increase the usage of the SharePoint farm, two different routes were taken:

  • CITS’ internal development team were beginning a series of training courses so that they would be able to develop solutions in response to requirements from different areas of the business.
  • Information Services were building a sophisticated business intelligence solution utilising the SQL Server, Analysis Services, Integration Services, and Reporting Services. They were using SharePoint as the presentation layer to allow end-users to view information and interact with data to ensure that the quality of the data was high.

Both teams had found that the learning they were participating in was good but provided little progression. In conclusion, they needed more insight into their different development streams’ capabilities and best practices.

RCHT engaged CPS to provide SharePoint “Architect as a Service” for a year. They received on-site support one day a month from an experienced SharePoint architect and access to the same architect during the rest of the month via telephone and e-mail.

During the on-site visits, RCHT were able to utilise the time based on the needs of the teams that were being supported and also based on the need to define how the SharePoint platform was to be used strategically.

The Information Services team focused on one-to-one sessions with the DBA and SharePoint developer. Areas covered include; SharePoint branding and development, optimisation of the processes for presenting content, and best practices for building large scale processes for SQL Server Integration Services.

The Results

The CITS development team opted to have a half-day surgery each month. They would learn and participate by raising specific questions and issues, with the architect walking them through resolutions, examples and best practices. Code reviews were also carried out to ensure that best practices were instilled in the development lifecycle.

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