South Tyneside NHS Trust goes paperless with Huddle SaaS

South Tyneside NHS Trust is going paperless thanks to a software-as-a-service [SaaS] tie up with Huddle that was made possible by the Government’s G-Cloud procurement service.

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All board meetings at the organisation are now paperless with members using an iPad and Huddle to view relevant documentation thus saving 100 reams of paper per month and hours of administration staff time.

Before the paperless system was implemented, monthly board packs were sent out to all members that usually stretched to 600 pages long with certain sections being sent back and forth by email until a final version was settled upon.

“Creating and distributing the board report every month was a logistical nightmare. Email is a poor collaboration tool when it comes to file management and the biggest problems are version control and security. When you send an email attachment to 20 people, you end up with 20 different versions of the same file stored locally on people’s devices. No one knows which version is final or what content has changed. Many of the secretaries also had to spend significant amounts of time standing next to the photocopier to create hard copies of the final document,” explained Martin Alexander, director of information at South Tyneside NHS Trust.

When choosing the right application the trust explained that the mobility of SharePoint “wasn’t up to scratch” and the iOS application didn’t perform well enough due to difficulties providing external access and being complicated to use. This led the trust to explore secure cloud services with the data protection act meaning that it had to ensure all data stayed in the UK. Huddle, being government accredited and having a UK data centre, fitted the bill.

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“South Tyneside NHS Trust’s use of iPads and Huddle to achieve its paperless meeting objective is a shining example of how new technology can improve productivity and increase efficiencies. As we’ve increased our NHS contracts by 44% over the same period last year, it looks like many other Trusts will be following South Tyneside NHS Trusts lead,” stated Alastair Mitchell, Huddle CEO.