Creating a comprehensive platform to increase patient knowledge and autonomy.

Introduction

Our Patient Webinars platform is helping to ease the pressure on GP’s and Dietitians via a one-stop-shop of self-help webinars and resources for patients suffering from gut-related conditions.

Patient Webinars began as a small project created by NHS Community Dietitians for patients with a GP based in Somerset. The idea was simple: to create a web-based tool that would allow GPs, consultants, endoscopy nurses and dietitians to signpost patients to a reliable and accurate source of information, encouraging patient self-management.

The team created a simple proof of concept in mid-2017, launching a basic WordPress website in April 2019. This was incredibly well received and provided huge amounts of value to patients. The team were awarded a number of accolades from national bodies, including NHS England and NHS Digital, for their efforts; more importantly, they’d demonstrated that digital health technology can help solve many resource issues within the NHS.

The webinars have been used to help treat patients across Somerset, and are now accessed by patients throughout the UK, and in over 60 countries, globally. They were awarded a small amount of funding from the South West Academic Health Science Network to help elevate the project to the next level.

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The Problem

The Patient Webinars team approached us to discover how we could take the project forward, in order to build awareness with healthcare professionals and their patients across the region. We agreed that, given the strain the NHS has been under since the global pandemic, we’d work to bring it to fruition as fast as possible. If this tool could contribute to easing some of the burden on the NHS, then that was something we wanted to prioritise to the best of our abilities.
The team had a number of key goals they wished to achieve with the new platform. They wanted a scalable solution that would assist in managing existing conditions on the website, as well as the ability to add new ones. They also wanted a seamless experience for users when completing pre and post webinar surveys, and for the website branding to have a more professional look overall.

“What The Idea Bureau created is exceptional and it’s been incredible working with such a dedicated, professional and talented team. What they’ve produced may change the way we work in community dietetics for many years to come, proving that digital healthcare is possible far beyond the pandemic crisis.”

Marianne Williams
Dietetic Advanced Clinical Practitioner

Our Solution

After sitting down with the team in a series of discovery sessions, it was decided to lay the initial version of the platform to rest – we knew we’d build upon the existing WordPress instance; however, we wanted to implement Gutenberg, a WordPress editor that would allow us to create flexible page layouts, enabling the team to own and manage their content. It also meant they could add further medical conditions and new webinars as soon as they’re produced.

When building digital products for the NHS and central government, there are very clear guidelines and resources on how best to do this. We felt it was our responsibility to ensure we followed the guidelines to the best of our ability, while also ensuring the site maintains its personality and warmth.

As we were using funded money, it was extremely important we didn’t waste time ‘reinventing the wheel’; to ensure that didn’t happen, we worked as smart as possible, using the tools and methodologies that had already been created for us by NHS Digital.

Client:
NHS – Somerset Parternship Trust
Project Type:
Website Redesign
Link::
https://patientwebinars.co.uk/
Tags:
Healthcare
TECHNOLOGIES USED

WordPress

Content Management System

Buddy.works

Deployment Infrastructure

Digital Ocean

Hosting Infrastructure

GitHub

Deployment Infrastructure

“The website will help thousands of people in Somerset and far beyond, with many NHS teams requesting to use it nationally.”

Marianne Williams
Dietetic Advanced Clinical Practitioner

Working with client brand guidelines

The NHS provides a Digital Service Manual, which documents the design principles for publicly accessible digital tools on-behalf of the NHS in amazing detail. Given the nature of the project, we relied on this manual to help us define colours, typography and components, as it allowed us to maintain consistent and accessible principles in the design and build. In order to build trust with patients, we’ve ensured that all users of our platform will have a familiar experience with other NHS healthcare services.

Because the NHS Digital team have already performed rigourous user testing on their design components, we felt confident that we could use them without excessive further validation – a factor that allowed us to complete the design and build quickly.

This project relies heavily on video content to communicate its messages; as such, we wanted to deliver this content in the most user-friendly way possible. We recommended using YouTube to host these videos, which meant we wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel, as we could rely on YouTube’s video compression and embeddable video player. This simplified the work, greatly reducing complexity and risk for the future.

Conclusion

We collaborated closely with the Patient Webinars team, and feel proud that our website design will serve them and their patients well into the foreseeable future. They now have a solid platform in place that will allow the site to flex so it fits in with future content changes and patient needs.

It was an absolute pleasure working on this project – we’d particularly like to thank Marianne Williams and Lesley Harper for their amazing efforts in helping us get this project over the finishing line and into the hands of those who need this most.

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