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Interserve Group / NHS Nightingale Hospital North West

Healthcare | FM Service Provider

07/05/21 | Rebecca Drewett

Against the clock and the odds: mobilising NHS Nightingale Hospital North West in under two weeks

Find out how FSI and Interserve Group worked together to ensure the team at NHS Nightingale Hospital North West had a CAFM solution they could rely on at a crucial time

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK and globally resulted in unprecedented changes and countermeasures to meet this challenge head on. One of these key measures was Project Nightingale, an NHS initiative which mobilised seven temporary critical care field hospitals to specifically treat patients affected by COVID19.

As part of this ground-breaking project, the team at Interserve Group was approached by the NHS to implement a fully functioning CAFM system to manage the wide range of tasks, people and day-to-day duties at the NHS Nightingale North West Hospital in Manchester. A total of 400 Interserve colleagues were hired to carry out crucial services including electrical maintenance, waste disposal, cleaning, catering and portering services.

It would normally take a minimum of three months to stand up a CAFM system of this nature – however, the hospital was opening its doors to patients within two weeks. Furthermore, due to social distancing measures, their team had to meet this deadline while working remotely. Faced with this monumental challenge, they got in touch with our team at FSI to help them meet it head-on.

As a longstanding CAFM supplier for Interserve across multiple projects, we were more than happy to support them. This established relationship and our collaboration was critical in overcoming the tight deadline we were faced with, as was both sides’ clear motivation to turnaround this project so the hospital was ready to lead the fight against COVID-19.

Here, we detail how the combined efforts of our teams enabled us to successfully complete this one-of-a-kind project by Easter weekend 2020.

Beating the deadline

As noted, the most pressing challenge was setting up a fully capable CAFM system in a fraction of the time it would typically take.

Cutting down this mobilisation time was the combination of several important factors. Firstly, in response to the initial signs of the COVID-19 outbreak, we had brought together our Knowledge Group and other specialists to map out a consistent set of health instruction sets to cover all healthcare scenarios that this pandemic may present.

Through our extensive experience in working with clients in the healthcare industry and the depth of our Concept Evolution platform, we were able to provide a free, purpose-built SaaS deployment of our core CAFM/IWMS solution when Interserve got in touch with us.

This early work meant we were in position to immediately supply them with any and all modules they required to meet their demands with no need for customisations, which greatly reduced lead-in times.

The range of services this system was built to meet include (but not limited to):

  • Reactive tasks
  • Portering
  • Cleaning
  • Catering
  • Space management
  • Admin-on-demand
  • Integrated Service Module (ISM)

While all of the modules utilised can be found in our already robust Concept Evolution platform, we ensured that we provided a dedicated environment, free of data from the typical communal Concept enterprise environments.

Furthermore, we were proud to offer any and all modules required completely free of charge (with the exception of a minimum 3rd party cost). Our core motivation was to help Interserve meet all requirements in ensuring the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West was set up to look after patients for as long as was necessary, with both sides demonstrating a powerful “whatever it takes” attitude.

This attitude was vital in guiding this project through to its successful conclusion. From bringing together relevant experts from both FSI and Interserve to configure the system as rapidly as possible, to efficiently tracking all details in shared documents, the strong communication between all teams was vital in hitting the tight deadline.

“They [FSI] really brought their A-Game, they had all their top people working on the project from start to finish”, said Clare Banks, Head of Business Change at Interserve.

“The system was set up as a standalone hosted system for NHS Nightingale North West as they did not want to risk it being on a shared platform as we needed the flexibility to change. They offered 24/7 support and – like us – worked around the clock.”

This went far beyond a “business-as-usual” approach – our teams were on-hand from the start of the project all the way through to launch, as well as offering consistent support for any issues that emerged post-launch.

Staying agile throughout

As well as the tight deadline, Interserve also had to contend with frequent changes to the layout and configuration of the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West itself. New information and alterations were arriving on a daily basis as the pandemic progressed, so it was critical that the system they employed and the support we offered were flexible in meeting these ever-evolving demands.

To best support Interserve in managing this project, our team at FSI took ownership of configuring the system and adapting it in accordance with any changes. We brought together experts from across our organisation to contribute to this in a timely fashion, guaranteeing that the project proceeded on schedule while accommodating changing clinical needs.

Following our configurations, testers at Interserve would verify that the system fulfilled the needs of this unique environment. Again, strong communication between both teams was hugely beneficial in ensuring any issues were dealt with rapidly and that the project remained agile throughout.

In addition, we provided Interserve access to our out of hours Support service (again, provided free-of-charge) to give reassurance that any issues that emerged post-launch would be resolved swiftly.

Managing ‘the red zones’

A final unique challenge that Project Nightingale presented was the use of ‘red zones’ within the building. These are highly controlled and hazardous zones, where staff would be required to wear PPE at all times and take extra precautions around infected patients. As such, it would not be feasible for people who access these areas to utilise our range of mobile workforce apps.

To help overcome this challenge, we first implemented our Live View module to provide a clear, colour-coded layout of the building. This allows users to identify the red zones as well as offer any further important locational information.

In addition, to meet the issue of staff not being able to use smartphones in these zones, a mix of mobile and radio devices was employed to ensure cross-contamination didn’t take place within the facilities. Our team also altered the implementation of our mobile solutions to simplify the workflow, including some configuration at our own cost.

A bright future

By pulling together with the team from Interserve, we were able to rapidly mobilise a purpose-built CAFM solution for the NHS Nightingale North West Hospital within the narrow deadline set, a feat that we are deeply proud of.

Taking into account the speed in which the project had to be completed, the setup was seamless and ongoing maintenance costs have remained low. In addition, there have been no speed or downtime issues. Off the back of this success, Interserve won at the IWFM Impact Awards 2020, in the ‘Workplace Experience: Non-Office / Corporate Environment’ category.

The significant effort behind the mobilisation of this project cannot be understated, and the commitment shown by both teams to ensure that the hospital was prepared to meet the needs of patients at this unprecedented time for the UK and the world in general.

Finally, we feel this project has strengthened the relationship between FSI and Interserve immeasurably. We hope that this helps forge a firmer strategic partnership between both parties in projects in the future and look forward to more success stories alongside their team.