NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a special health authority with teams in all four corners of the UK. Around 6000 staff work towards the core purpose of saving and improving lives by delivering blood components, tissues and solid organs to those in need.
The Human Resources (HR) department needed an overhaul. The large size and multiple locations of NHSBT had led to a lack of consistency across the department. The spreadsheets used to track activity had become inadequate and it seemed HR staff were never there when they were needed.
According to deputy director of HR Katherine Robinson, the department had not exploited the advantages of technology solutions to support HR delivery or improve the experience of customers.
Research and analysis of both the public and private sector, as well as staff and customer consultations, led NHSBT to seek a single point of contact known as HR Direct.
The aim was to improve efficiency and consistency by allowing managers and staff to access HR advice and support wherever they are in the UK.
The new solution was intended not only to improve internal interactions with the department, but also to improve the customer experience.
Coincidentally, the NHSBT IT department was seeking a similar solution at the same time, so a joint specification was created.
“If you strip away the content, the functionality needed to support IT and HR is very similar: essentially you are handling an incoming query or request for help, providing advice or resolution, following up and then documenting what’s been done,” said HR business partner Shane White.
Following a tender a selection process, NHSBT decided upon the ServiceNow Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, provided by the only Preferred Service Partner for the product in the UK, Partners in IT.
Despite what White has described as an “aggressive” timetable for the HR Direct project, NHSBT staff agree that the new platform is a success.
Since November 2013 when the system went live, 4000 HR queries have been handled. Of these, 79% were closed within a day and 87% within two. This exceeds the prediction and target of 80%.
“The feedback has been tremendous. The system is very user friendly which has encouraged people to use it more than we predicted,” claimed White.
He added that such successful results would not have been achievable without the strong relationship NHSBT developed with Partners in IT.
“There was a lot of mutual respect and learning and their experience of process consulting was incredibly helpful to us,” said White.
“The ability to customise ServiceNow to meet our HR needs for impressive and fast and this helped to build a very good working relationship which was very positive, interactive and responsive.
“However, Partners in IT weren’t afraid to challenge us where necessary and that external perspective on our organisation was highly valuable,” he added.
As of the 1st July 2014, Partners in IT is now known as Fruition Partners UK after being acquired by the American company of the same name.