NHS 24


NHS 24 is Scotland’s national Telehealth and Telecare organisation and works in close partnership with all of Scotland’s health boards. It develops, provides and facilitates an expanding range of multichannel, patient centred, safe and effective Telehealth and Telecare services for patients, carers and citizens across Scotland.

NHS 24 case study

NHS 24 provides health information and advice to people living in Scotland. It is involved in the three-year ‘Living it UP’ project, launched by the 'dallas' (Delivering Assisted Living Lifestyle At Scale) programme and funded by the Technology Strategy Board, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highland and Islands Enterprise. The project is designed to develop innovative solutions that will enable communities to live happier, healthier and safer lives. It will do this by providing personalised health and wellbeing information via familiar technology like computers, tablets, smartphones, games consoles and the TV.

The unique innovation and design process that is behind the development of the ‘Living it Up’ project requires collaboration from an extremely varied team comprising health boards, industry and technology partners. It became essential that all the partners could access a central platform where information could be shared and exchanged with everyone involved.

Collaborating both inside and outside of the organisation

“I had used Huddle before as part of another collaborative healthcare project across Europe, so when it came to looking for something for us to use, I knew it would be ideal,” explains Justine Westwood, head of planning and performance, NHS 24. “We’d used SharePoint internally before, but needed something easy to use for both internal teams and non-NHS team members.”

Without Huddle, NHS 24 would have had to rely on email to circulate documents, which did not enable the level of collaboration that Justine was looking for.

“Huddle has provided a platform for the teams to share knowledge and best practice tips around what has worked well in their area. Working with people scattered across Scotland, collaboration has been very important. With Huddle it’s easy to get a quick overview of who’s commented on what or has edited something,” Westwood continues.

Tight security controls with an intuitive interface

With Huddle’s version control, teams using Huddle can easily find the most recent version of a document. There are a number of files uploaded to provide the specifications of the project and progress reports from each team. Some contain confidential information, so it was essential that the platform could provide the right levels of security.

“Security is a big concern for us. However, we also need a secure platform which we can just log into from a web browser, like Huddle. This is much easier than trying to get access through each organisation’s firewall for information,” said Westwood.

Huddle is pan-government accredited at IL2, providing the high level of security required by such a project. It provides tight security controls and an intuitive interface, so users can get started straight away. This proved particularly useful when the NHS 24 team invited team members from external organisations to join Huddle workspaces, as it removes the need for costly and time consuming training sessions.

NHS 24 now has 100 users on Huddle after completing the first year of the ‘Living It Up’ project. NHS 24 has utilised a range of features in Huddle to ensure effective collaboration on the project. Staff have used the calendar and task functions to allocate actions to teams and each of the workspaces has been branded to signpost the organisation’s messaging to external parties.

“Living it Up’ is a three year project and we’ve just completed the first year so we’ll be using Huddle to support the additional roll out over the next two years. We also have two upcoming projects we plan to use Huddle for,” said Westwood.