Staff Engagement Award

Captive Health and The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust are Finalists for Staff Engagement at the 2014 PENNA Awards.

“I manage my life through my smartphone. Why wouldn’t I want to manage my work through my smartphone too?”

Nick Hulme, CEO, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust



Aim and vision

In 2014, The Ipswich Hospital asked Captive Health to implement an innovative a staff engagement product. The core aims of the project were:

  • To make patient feedback accessible, closing the feedback loop for staff
  • To create something that staff find useful, and choose to access regularly in their work
  • To build a platform for future development as needs arise in future
  • To promote staff engagement
Rationale & Context

Working together, Captive Health, the Trust’s IT team and the Organisational Development team researched what staff wanted from such a product.

From this research it emerged that:

  • New starters at the Trust may lack core information that they are reluctant to trouble their manager with, including accessing facilities and finding out about employee benefits
  • Managers advised they would find it useful to easily access quality and performance information enabling them to tell their team how they are doing on the things that matter
  • All staff advised they would find it useful to be able to access to the internal phone directory on the go
  • The project team wanted to add ‘employer branding’ functionality, in the form of a Current Vacancies section, so the product would appeal to those hoping to join the Trust, as well as staff

Staff Connect is a unique and world class staff engagement solution, without parallel in any sector.

Once the core functionality requirements were agreed, Captive Health used their expertise to build a slick and user-friendly product After the development, a core of users were asked to comment, and a small number of refinements were then made.

The finished product is maintained by the Trust from the Staff Connect online Control Panel and includes the following functionality. What’s more, it can be implemented quickly and easily in any organisation.

With Staff Connect our clients can:

  • Enable staff to use the staff directory while on the go
  • Improve employer branding
  • Improve new-starter orientation
  • Cascade quality and performance information, trust-wide or team by team
  • Communicate policies and procedures, trust-wide or team by team
  • Integrate with social media for sharing content.

So far, this innovation has delivered:

  • Improved productivity of front-line staff by using unified digital communications
  • Improved quality of patient care, by providing policy updates to targeted groups of staff, and closing the feedback loop, so the staff running a service can see in real-time what the patients using their service say about it
  • Evidence of clinical effectiveness, by making performance information easily accessible to those members of staff who need it
  • Improvement in patient experience, as seen in Friends and Family Test returns

The feedback has been fantastic and impact on staff engagement is evident:

  • One manager stated she was “blown away” by the quality of the product
  • A frontline manager in radiology said “This helps me see information about how we are doing, it’s really important” or
  • A matron added “The Who’s Who is good, especially if I am off site at a meeting. Most people have a smartphone now so it makes it easy for people to find the things they need to know”
  • A recent new jointer told us at the launch “I haven’t done an induction yet. If we’d had this a week ago when we started it would have saved us a lot of hassle”

Success measures include:

  • Number of downloads, which is on target to hit 20% of staff in early 2015.
  • A notable reduction in switchboard calls.
  • High numbers of instances of information being accessed on devices.
Learning points

This innovation is now available from Captive Health as an ‘off the shelf’ solution. It can be implemented by any Trust in 4-6 weeks and represents extremely good value for money. Tips for a successful implementation include:

  • Involve stakeholders early in the project.
  • Use your comms team, design team and IT colleagues well. They don’t need to be involved but it really helps.
  • Get Exec support for the project.
  • Expect good value from external suppliers.
  • Be prepared for an interesting journey, and be creative along the way!
See for yourself

The team at Captive Health will be very happy to provide more information.  Please contact us for a free online demo.

Staff react to the Staff App:

Leaders endorse the partnership:


Endorsements for Captive Health

“Captive Health has responded to our questions very promptly, very efficiently and they’ve come up with different options for us to consider going forward which is really exciting”

Jo Wood, Head of Organisational Development

“It’s just been so easy. Andrew and the team have made this whole journey so smooth and so slick….I see the benefit it brings to this organisation, to our patients and to our staff. And every time I talk to a member of staff and show them the app and show them what it does and what it brings there is such enthusiasm. I know it is the right thing, and we have only got there because we have had a great partnership to get there.”

Clare Edmonson, Director of HR


The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust holds a unique and valued position in the community it serves.  Providing care to 3,000 people every day on a hospital site which covers 46 acres, the Trust is the size of a small town.

The hospital employs some 3,500  staff, a majority of whom have no fixed workstation. The project was led by Mike Meers (CIO), Clare Edmonson (Director of HR) Jo Wood (Head of OD) with expert support from Patrick Harrington (Project Manager).

“We want to deliver great care for every patient when and where they need it. Our vision reflects our position as a provider of healthcare for both local people and for a wider population and we provide care in many ways and locations. To deliver this ambition we know that we will always seek to improve the healthcare we provide and we will be flexible and responsive to future demands so that we can make sure patients get great care when and where they need it.”

The Captive Health team were proud to support this initiative. Andrew Cockayne, Managing Director commented:

“Captive Health is an ethical company dedicated to helping NHS organisations improve outcomes for patients. Our expertise lie in Organisational Development, customer insight and Patient Experience. All our clients operate in the public sector and we aim to develop and promote world-class innovation at a price that makes sense.  With our IT solutions we save NHS organisations time and money by automating routine tasks, sharing innovations across our clients at no extra cost and delivering exceptional innovation that puts our clients in control, free of support costs.”



Contact us to learn more about Staff Connect.

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