News & Views
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Rapidly developing a bespoke booking system for flu jabs
We developed a tailored booking solution for Wirral University Teaching Hospital’s staff flu jab programme when COVID-19 made it unsafe to run the usual drop-in sessions with people waiting in a queue.
In autumn 2020, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) were preparing to provide the flu vaccine to their 5000+ staff. Arranging and managing appointment for such a large workforce was a significant challenge, worsened by the pandemic which made drop-in sessions and queueing unsafe. It was also a difficult and time-consuming manual task to keep accurate records of who has had a jab.
As a trusted partner, already collaborating on several applications and online tools, we were approached by WUTH to provide a digital system for managing the flu jab process.
Working together with WUTH to understand the requirements, the Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit’s Applications Development team quickly worked out that a new system needed to be developed, and under an urgent timeline.
The team carried out a rapid and agile development process, including testing and handover in record time, to create UJab. It allowed the Trust to publish appointment slots through a user-friendly app. Staff could then book a preferred slot on their phone or other device, and WUTH gained a robust record of who has had the jab.
The system was branded up to the specification of WUTH, with their own flu campaign logo.
UJab went live on 21 September 2020, just over three weeks after the Trust provided the requirements.
The UJab system provided several efficiencies:
- The Trust found it easy and simple to use to set up clinics for flu vaccinations
- Staff could now quickly and easily book a vaccine slot that suits them, despite different levels of confidence with IT, rather than turn up and queue
- It saved time and effort both for the Trust’s inoculation team and its 5,000 staff
- All dates and slots available were successfully booked up
- It allowed staff administering the vaccine to record, the outcome of each slot. As a result, the Trust had a detailed, accurate and auditable record of when and whether each member of staff was either jabbed, couldn’t be jabbed, or didn’t turn up
- It contributed to WUTH delivering the flu jab programme quicker than in the past and vaccinating up to 300 more people despite the difficulties brought on by COVID-19.
“UJab is straightforward and intuitive. We needed a system pretty quickly, we were up against it. The team got it up and running in about three weeks!
“It was a very smooth process – it seemed quite simple from where we were sitting, but I know there was a lot of work behind that from MLCSU.
“I’ve had experience developing IT systems and it’s been quite painful but working with you was easy and straightforward, and I am grateful for that. We were able vaccinate 200-300 more people, so UJab really contributed to protecting our staff and patients from seasonal flu.”
Joe Roberts, Project Manager – Workforce
Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust