Case study: Queen Victoria Hospital undergoes digital transformation


How one trust has managed to turn its website around and efficiently provide external stakeholders with referral resources, hospital details, 24/7 monitoring and support, and consistently-high performance

The organisation

Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) is a specialist NHS hospital providing life-changing reconstructive surgery, burns care and rehabilitation services for people across the South of England.

It is a centre of excellence, with an international reputation for pioneering advanced techniques and treatments.

Being known for its role in developing pioneering plastic surgery techniques for injured allied aircrew during World War II; it prides itself on continuing to rebuild lives.

Today, the hospital’s clinical work extends to treating conditions of the hands, eyes, skin and teeth, offering expert therapies, a sleep disorder centre and a minor injuries unit.

With 900 staff and 7,600 members across Sussex, Kent and Surrey; everything QVH does is informed by its passion for providing the highest-quality care, the best clinical outcomes and a safe and positive patient experience – confirmed by its ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission for patient care.

The challenge

The QVH website is a shopfront for the hospital and an important way for the hospital to communicate with its external stakeholders.

For example, it provides a range of information and resources for clinicians who might want to refer a patient, while, for patients, the site gives details about the hospital, treatments and consultants, as well as a wide range of downloadable information.

As well as information about services, the website houses news and press releases about the hospital, formal documents such as board papers, and signposts on to the QVH Charity for people who want to donate or fundraise for the hospital. Potential employees can learn about research and employment opportunities.

The site is regularly updated to keep it up to date with information such as the monthly friends and family survey completed by patients giving their views of the hospital. It’s also a place for people to find out about the hospital’s impressive history and heritage.

As such a vital resource, website reliability, availability and security are key factors that have determined QVH’s choice of hosting partner.

“As a core communication and information service, we made a specific decision to outsource our hosting to an expert third party,” said Nasir Rafiq, IT manager at QVH.

“We need reliability, performance, value for money and really strong service capabilities.”

The solution

Hyve specialises in fully-managed hosting services.

Each client is assigned an account manager and a team of systems architects and highly-trained engineers to tailor the best-possible solution for their needs. Hyve builds a relationship with each client over time, becoming an extension of its organisation.

Hyve removes the stress and complexity of deployment, migration, and evolution of a customer's online platform by employing the following continuous process: Consult, Design, Deploy, Maintain.

The consult phase seeks to understand client needs in order to architect the perfect cost-effective solution, within budget and to a project planning timeline which fits client planning precisely.

Project deployment focuses on key technical milestones ranging from server build, migration and content delivery, to platform configuration, fine-tuning and launch.

Hyve maintains and delivers 24/7 monitoring and support, backed up by ongoing performance tuning, giving every client the ability to scale Hyve’s services according to their requirements.

With a small IT team based at the hospital, Rafiq relies on external suppliers to offer a high level of expertise such as website hosting.

“While my team and I are very experienced across a wide range of technologies, we are not hosting experts,” he explained.

“Hyve has always delivered a solution based on a strong technology foundation, backed by the capability to guide and advise us as our needs develop.”

As well as site hosting, which delivers strong levels of performance and uptime, Hyve also supports QVH’s cyber security strategy, providing features such as a powerful DDoS scrubbing capability that can mitigate and defeat the kind of disruptive attacks targeted at public-sector organisations.

The benefits

Working with Hyve, QVH is able to deliver an informative and valued website which fulfils the communication requirements the hospital needs while providing the value for money needed in the public sector.

“I enjoy working with the Hyve team,” said Rafiq.

“They are able to deliver the services I need within budget, while adding a great deal of value to what has become a long-term partnership.

“The quality of support provided has always been particularly impressive.

“I have dedicated account managers who I know and can call if I have questions or any problems. Their responsiveness, even outside of normal working hours, is of great benefit.”

Key benefits include:

  • High-performance hosting solution, providing high levels of uptime and reliability
  • Support for cyber security strategy, particularly defence against DDoS attacks
  • Dedicated, highly-responsive helpdesk and support services