Verto: Supporting Integrated Care Systems

NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is one of 195 CCGs across England responsible for the commissioning of healthcare services for its local area and is a key partner in the Cheshire East Integrated Care Partnership which is joining up the area’s health and social care services.


What NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG wanted to achieve

The backdrop to NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG’s operations was a challenging if not unusual one. Its financial Plan forecast an annual deficit of approximately £15m and, to balance the budget, there was a strong drive to deliver Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) schemes to achieve £9.4m of savings.

The CCG identified that its Programme Management Office (PMO) approach required redesigning as projects had previously been managed using a combination of Microsoft Project, Word and Excel.

Version control was problematic and, even though there was a shared drive in use, there was no visibility on who was working on which version.

Similarly, reporting was laborious and, although the CCG had developed an in-house database, it still required manual data collation from multiple sources in order to produce the reporting required, which was hugely time consuming.

The CCG recognised that it needed a cloud-based approach for its programme delivery which would offer:
• Ease of use
• Collaborative working
• Version control and visibility of updates
• Easy and accurate reporting to enable planning with confidence and deliver efficiency savings.

Importantly, Eastern Cheshire wanted a tool that allowed it to get the most out of its collaborative PMO working across all four CCGs in Cheshire on proposals to establish a single commissioner and two Integrated Care Partnerships (ICP).


Verto as the solution

Verto was built in line with how the CCG works, mirroring its workflow and processes, and able to see all its project data and documentation in one place. Once the CCG build was complete, we undertook the second stage of joining up Eastern Cheshire with its neighbouring CCGs: South Cheshire, Vale Royal and West Cheshire using the powerful functionality of VertoGrid.

This created a Cheshire-wide network of CCGs, providing each CCG with a customised version of Verto.

Joint projects can now be shared and, for the first time, all the project information across multiple sites can be aggregated into a single report.

“Working with the Verto team has been brilliant – they have such a great ‘can do’ attitude. They are so responsive, listening to our ideas and challenges and finding solutions so the system really works for us. In the early stages we spoke to NHS West Cheshire CCG who were very impressed with the system and support.

We could see how using VertoGrid would enable us to run programmes and reports cross-organisationally whilst retaining all the individual configuration of our own system. For us this was the best of both worlds and, combined with its ease of use and depth of functionality, it wasn’t a difficult decision”.

Adam McClure, PMO Manager for NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG


The Benefits

Verto provides a structured approach to establishing and managing a project, making it easy for people to follow project management best practice.

Eastern Cheshire particularly liked the fact that Verto was simple to use, with a clear dashboard that made it easy to see all its project information in one place.

The CCG had instant visibility of its project performance and the ability to generate high-quality reports, including its Board Assurance Framework, with one click of a button.

The Cloud-based system, coupled with the VertoGo App, gives CCG staff and stakeholders ‘on the go’ access to their data, supporting collaboration and flexible working. Verto also gives individual commissioning managers and the PMO a bird’s-eye view of their projects meaning they can manage risk, and monitor and report on projects in a much more robust way.

“One of the mainstays of Verto is its ease of use. For us, the user interface was a major selling point – we just found it so easy to navigate around”

Adam McClure, PMO Manager for NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG

The time saving benefit to the PMO has been significant: reporting processes that used to take more than a week are now completed in less than a day, and having all their project information in one place has produced a noticeable saving in time spent on PMO admin.

The PMO is now working on integrating Verto as a ‘business as usual’ tool across the wider organisation, and the information coming out of the system is enabling it to plan and track savings and benefits more accurately.

Verto gives the PMO reliable and current data, one system to plan, track and manage the delivery of QIPP projects and to enable future planning with confidence.


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