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New online portal makes savings for NHS trust

Time and resources significantly reduced by new technology whilst also addressing the gender pay gap.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is the first in the UK to go digital with their annual Clinical Excellence Awards programme and they chose Corporation Pop to design and build the project for them.

The new system saves the NHS Trust thousands of hours of administration time as well as making it easier for those with family responsibilities to take part. In previous years the annual awards, which are directly linked to staff pay, were paper based and used tens of thousands of sheets of paper which were hand written by applicants before being photocopied up to 40 times each. They were then collated and distributed to scorers who would spend hours working through them.

Once scored each would be added to a matrix, all forty of these sorted, cross checked and the data from them input so scores could be compared. The new online portal does away with all that. There is no paper, no photocopying, and no distribution to worry about as everything is done securely online. In the past NHS research has shown that female staff has been less likely to apply for a Clinical Excellence Award than their male colleagues but when they have they are just as likely to be successful.

Applicants can now use the new flexible system to apply wherever and whenever they choose, saving progress as they go along and opening up opportunity to fit it around work and home commitments. Recent NHS contractual changes have required more robust monitoring of protected characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, or disability in order to improve equality and identify the potential for discrimination in the organisation. The new Clinical Excellence Awards portal allows for the confidential monitoring of this information.

Miss Toli Onon, Joint Group Medical Director at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said of the project: “The most important thing for me, is that our Clinical Excellence Awards process is fair and unbiased; and that we make it as user-friendly as possible for both applicants and those who volunteer to score.

The system we developed with Corporation Pop has been brilliant, and it’s given confidence to our Consultant body that we really take seriously the business of rewarding their clinical excellence.”

Not only has applicant feedback been excellent but it’s also been incredibly positive from those who administer the awards programme as not only is the whole process faster and more efficient but it is also easier to keep an overview of.

In the past it was sometimes difficult to see where bottlenecks were occurring but now with the ability to monitor progress of applicants, verifiers and scorers it is simple to see where in the pipeline an application is so it can be nudged along or resources can be reassigned where necessary. All scoring is now anonymous giving an extra level of transparency and fairness to the process and the system has the potential to store applications over a number of years so progress can be monitored throughout an applicant’s career.

Corporation Pop and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust are now reaching out to other trusts who want to streamline their own Clinical Excellence Awards programmes. With the background work done and the digital structures in place they now have a white label product which can be used across the NHS.

Dom Raban, Managing Director of Corporation Pop, said, “The opportunity for savings, both financial and in the sheer amount of time the Clinical Excellence Awards take to manage, are there for the taking and we’re keen to share this innovative system with others at a fraction of the cost it would take to develop from nothing. MFT have proven that it works and they’re really pleased with the outcome of their investment.”

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