Public Health England Safeguards Cancer Screening Programme with Hitachi Services
NHS National Breast Screening Programme, Public Health England
Hitachi Vantara Application Managed Services
Safeguard availability of critical IT system supporting the NHS National Breast Screening Programme.
Hitachi provides an ITIL-aligned managed service with a focus on continual service improvement.
Improved availability of National Breast Screening System (NBSS).
Better user experience for 4,000 NHS staff.
Consistent and reliable screening process for 2.5 million women a year.
Challenge: Protecting a System That Helps Save Lives
The NHS National Breast Screening Programme screens 2.5 million women and saves 1,300 lives every year. All women in the UK between the ages of 50 and 70 are invited to a screening, as earlier diagnosis of breast cancer significantly improves life chances. The programme, which was introduced in the early 1990s, is extremely complex and extensive. Almost every part of its management relies on the NBSS (National Breast Screening System).
Fundamental to the programme, the NBSS supports all administrative activities from appointment handling and reporting to assessment and ongoing patient evaluation. With 78 instances on local hospital networks and a user base of around 4,000 NHS staff, this critical system must be highly available, secure and regularly updated. As NBSS was originally built in the early 2000s it is based on a legacy platform, but still has to support the evolution of the programme and new technologies, such as digital imaging.
When the existing support contract was no longer adequate, Public Health England needed a new partner to manage the system but without losing the knowledge and skills held by team members.
Solution: ITIL-Aligned Managed Services From Hitachi
Public Health England (PHE) has been working with Hitachi Vantara since 2015 to manage and support the NBSS. Members of the original support team were transferred to Hitachi via TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment) regulations, four of which still work on the system today.
Hitachi Vantara provides an ITIL-aligned managed service, including incident, change, problem, infrastructure and release management. All user tickets are processed via the Hitachi service desk, with a two-hour resolution for P1 incidents. To reduce clinical risk and protect data, the 18-strong support team works from a secure room.
To respond to changing user needs and new technologies, the team is responsible for regularly updating the platform. Updates over the last six years include support for the faster diagnosis standard and changes to support very high-risk screening. All changes are approved via the PHE Change Advisory Board to ensure they’re relevant and beneficial to the programme.
With a strong focus on continual service improvement (CSI), Hitachi has also introduced a number of service innovations and encourages users and team members to submit ideas for review. Service improvements include moving to a DevOps hybrid organisation model, introducing a super user group, enhancing processes for knowledge management, succession planning and starting an End User Training Service. The team has also grown to include a test function for system integration and regression testing, plus a dedicated business analyst to produce functional specifications.
As part of the training service, Hitachi conducted a training needs analysis from the most frequently submitted service tickets. Based on the results and in collaboration with PHE, the team has launched a series of training articles in line with PHE guidance. The 22 live training articles help to drive consistent working practices and reduce call volumes. A bi-annual newsletter keeps users up to date on service enhancements and system updates. The team also works on occasional bespoke projects outside of core service, supporting the NHS when Trusts operationally merge to manage and protect data within NBSS.
Outcome : A Better User Experience and Seamless Process for Patients
Thanks to the reliability of the managed service, the PHE can safeguard the efficiency of the NHS National Breast Screening Programme. With a highly available NBSS, screening invites are prompt, data is consistent and referrals are accurate.
The quality of the managed service is verified by bi-annual customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys and regular user satisfaction (USAT) monitoring. The Hitachi Vantara team scored 9.5 out of 10 for CSAT for the year ending 2021 and 9.9 for year-to-date USATs during February 2021.
“Hitachi has a loyal and committed team that’s very proactive in offsetting potential problems and has a strong focus on continuous improvement and creative thinking,” comments Mat Jordan, Strategy & Operations Manager (Cancer Screening Programme) at Public Health England. “It’s a true partnership and a huge weight off my mind to know that we’ve got a rock solid team supporting such a vital system.”
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