CUSTOMER STORY

Overgate Hospice and the Health Informatics Service: hospice gets super-connected to help increase fundraising

“The new connection from the Hospice to the charity shops has made our fundraising activities easier to manage.”

Laura Golding, Fundraising and Retail Manager from Overgate Hospice

Snapshot

Operational goals

Slow day-to-day network connectivity and no connectivity for remote sites made real-time communication impossible.

Virgin Media Business Digital Solution

Faster data speeds, improved telephony and resilient connectivity between all sites.

Outcomes

Better communications, visibility of fundraising activities and secure data sharing to give patients the best care.

 
 

Digital aims and operational goals

Overgate Hospice runs a Day Hospice and Inpatient service, and relies heavily on the revenue from its ten local charity shops. To make sure patients get the best possible care, clear communications between the local NHS Trust, patients and their families are crucial. With Overgate’s technology and network requirements managed by The Health Informatics Service, our team was tasked to find a fast and reliable network solution for staff working in the Hospice.

Virgin Media Business installed a new, faster and secure, data network, linking together the Hospice, its charity shops and local NHS Trust. Staff no longer had to struggle with a slow, unreliable network connection and could drastically reduce postage of documents to staff, patients and families. The new fibre-optic network is fast and reliable - helping the Hospice to share patient records, where appropriate, more efficiently between sites, and improve communications within the clinical and fundraising functions.

Overgate Hospice is a charity providing specialist palliative care for the people of Calderdale, West Yorkshire, that are living with a life limiting illness. It provides a much needed service for patients, families and the community, and has both a Day Hospice and an Inpatient Unit. The Hospice runs a group of charity shops in the local area, which is a huge source of its fundraising activity. So to keep the shops well connected and to share patient records where appropriate with the local Trust, Overgate Hospice needed fast and secure network connectivity.

“With the new network, Hospice staff are able to share confidential patient data, where appropriate, over a fast, secure and reliable connection. It is also helping their charity shops to stay in touch with the Hospice, enabling better collaboration and more efficient fundraising. With a completely refreshed IT system Overgate Hospice no longer rely on snail mail and are able to continue to provide a high quality service to their patients,” said Jim Longley, Service Account Manager at The Health Informatics Service.

Overgate Hospice provides a range of services, which are vital for the people of Calderdale. It recognised that a connectivity boost was needed to improve information sharing with the local NHS Trust and help the coordination of its fundraising activities.

They’d been reliant on an old data network connection which made event planning and general communications very slow. The local charity shops had no network connectivity at all, so correspondence needed to go by post which limited communication between the fundraising team.

The Hospice also used several different suppliers for its telephone services, network connection and other IT services, and so wanted to find a way to reduce costs associated with managing multiple suppliers.

Our role

Virgin Media Business installed a fully managed IPVPN solution in conjunction with The Health Informatics Service to help Overgate’s frontline care staff access, update and share patient data, where appropriate, over a secure, private network connection. Nine separate DSL connections have also been installed, linking the Hospice with each of its local charity shops.

The 10Mbit/s fibre network means that the Hospice has faster data speeds and the ability to share information, including confidential patient data, where appropriate, securely. The Hospice itself also has central storage, backups and wireless service within the building.

Laura Golding, Fundraising and Retail Manager from Overgate Hospice, comments; “Not only are we committed to providing high quality palliative care, we’re also constantly battling to raise enough funds to keep the Hospice running. We provide an essential service for anyone caring for a loved one and have helped thousands of families over the years. We raise the money for the Hospice through our network of charity shops and, along with other activities like lottery funding, corporate funding and a choir, we manage to keep providing a vital lifeline to the Calderdale community year after year.”

Results

Overgate Hospice provides an essential service to people in Calderdale, but in order to provide such high quality care the organisation needs to raise around £3.1 million a year. The Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) makes a 20 per cent contribution towards this, but the remaining amount has to be made up from local fundraising. This equates to a target of £6,900 every day.

Laura Golding adds, “The new connection from the Hospice to the charity shops has made our fundraising activities easier to manage. We’ve bought three iPads for the Fundraising Team so they’re able to go out and gather donators’ data in real-time, increasing the number of fundraising lead conversions. Also, being in touch with our retail staff and volunteers has meant we’re able to organise more events, leading to more fundraising activity taking place than ever before.”

With the improved communication network around the Hospice, the IT team can also help out staff with any technical problems via remote IT access. Jim comments; “We’re able to remotely access staff computers to help fix any reported problems, so that it gets done quickly, efficiently and doesn’t affect staff productivity.”

The connection has given the Hospice the flexibility to roll out new services, and Overgate has also worked with The Health Informatics Service and Virgin Media Business to introduce a wireless service for patients to use the internet from their rooms and stay in touch with friends and family.

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