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DoH signs dxw for intranet upgrade



Publication of code on GitHub will make it re-usable by other organisations

The Department of Health has appointed public sector digital services provider dxw to upgrade its departmental intranet.

Under a £95,000 contract set to run until October 2017, the new site is due to go live in April. The company said the changes will make it quicker and easier for the DoH’s 2,000 staff to publish and access information, and provide significant efficiency savings.

The work will involve using an agile development process with a series of sprints between now and the end of March, taking in user feedback at all stages. The code will be published on software repository GitHub, enabling other organisations to use it to build their own intranet sites.

Chris Fleming, intranet product manager at the DoH, said: “We redesigned our intranet two years ago but even though it is cheaper to run than its predecessor with higher user satisfaction, user feedback and analytic data show that there is still room for improvement. Users would like to find things more easily and content owners and editors want a more streamlined publication process.

“One of the key lessons we learned from the initial redesign was that you can never do enough engagement, so together with dxw we are regularly talking to users to understand and address their needs.”

Discovery beginning

The project began with a discovery phase dxw led for the initial intranet development two years ago. More recently, the DoH migrated the site on to GovPress, dxw’s custom-built WordPress platform.

“We fully support the Government mandate that internal systems should be as efficient and user friendly as external ones,” said Harry Metcalfe, managing director of dxw.

“DoH found that simply saving each member of staff 30 minutes per week equates to over £1 million of efficiency savings per year, so as well as making life easier for users we are helping to make the healthcare budget go further – something which will benefit all of us as taxpayers and healthcare users.”

Image: Richmond House, DoH headquarters, from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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