Hospital IT team win international improvement award

Friday April 7, 2017

The information technology team at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has won an international award for Best Implementation of an IT Service Management Solution.

The trust’s IT Solutions Team, working with a company called Freshdesk, beat competition from across Europe, Russia and the Philippines to win the prestigious prize from the Service Desk Institute  – a worldwide professional organisation for those working in the IT support.

The team, who provide information technology (IT) support for colleagues working at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, Worthing Hospital and Southlands Hospital in Shoreham, introduced a new IT Helpdesk which improved staff satisfaction rates from 60% to 94% within just one week.

Western Sussex Hospitals is one of only five acute hospital trusts in the country to be rated “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission and has a leading reputation within the NHS for continuous improvement.

IT issues now get fixed in a third of the time

Ian Arbuthnot, director of Information Management & Technology (IM&T), said: “Staff at Western Sussex Hospitals are encouraged to innovate and make changes that improve patient care and facilitate work for their colleagues.

“The IT team is no exception and I am extraordinarily proud of this international recognition for their excellent achievement and continued hard work to make improvements every day.”

Since the team relaunched the IT Helpdesk on 31 October last year, six agents have handled more than 19,000 calls – 91% of which were resolved on the first contact and complaints have dropped to an average of just two per month.

Grant Harris, head of IT Solutions, said: “We are providing a much improved service – IT issues now get fixed in a third of the time, with any IT issues that impact patient care getting priority.

“This was very much a team effort and I would like to thank the trust’s executive board for giving us the autonomy to deliver this improvement. Credit also needs to go to Freshdesk and their Freshservice product which we have used.”

At the Service Desk Institute Awards, held at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel on 30 March, the trust’s IT team was presented with their prize, which included a cheque for £1,000 which they are donating to the trust’s dedicated charity, Love Your Hospital.

Grant added: “We weren’t told beforehand if we had won, so it really was like the IT Oscars, although I had no doubt that we would win as we had such a compelling story. I still can’t stop smiling to be honest – this is a real highlight of my career after 21 years in IT management.”

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