Case Study: Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) consists of five main sites and runs a wide range of services mainly from Arrowe Park Hospital and Clatterbridge Hospital. In this article we explain why they chose Apollo-FM as their new system and the benefits they are already gaining, including saving money and having access to information in real-time.

Recognising the need to update their Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) system, the Trust decided that the new system must have the following key features:

  • A fully web based system
  • The ability to connect to their Drawings Database
  • The ability to connect to their Supplies Database
  • The system had to support mobile working, and
  • Effective and streamlined reporting features, including obtaining information from disparate databases

In addition, as a Member of HFC the product was procured as a “Member product” with the discount and backup provided to all HFC products and enabling the Trust to make a significant saving on the full commercial licence fee.

The Trust’s previous system was based on an Oracle database with a complicated structure of over 200 files that the staff in the Trust did not fully understand, nor did they have the time to invest in getting to grips with its complexities.

After reviewing the marketplace they choose Apollo-FM to provide the solution, as:

  • Apollo-FM includes all of the key features listed above
  • It combines everything they require in one complete package, and
  • Apollo-FM is easy to use
  • The transfer of the current database information to the new Apollo-FM system was straightforward
  • It is able to link disparate databases across the Trust

Data transfer

As part of the product implementation plan, the Trust wanted to transfer the current database information to the new Apollo-FM system.

Fortunately, this is a straightforward process for Apollo-FM. Premier Software Limited, Healthcare Facilities Consortium’s (HFC) long-standing Software Partner for Apollo-FM, have transferred data from a diverse range of databases into Apollo-FM over the years and Apollo-FM has the ability to use a clever tool which greatly simplifies this process. Not only does this tool allow databases to be viewed as if they were native to the Apollo-FM product but it was also key in linking disparate databases both at Wirral and elsewhere going forward. Using this software made the process of copying the data between databases and the creation of data dictionaries in Apollo-FM a much quicker and simpler process. Premier also used the product to demonstrate links to the Drawings database and to produce costs per M2.

Apollo-FM went live at Wirral in August and it has been in used since to record all the Trust’s data live.

Why Apollo-FM?

Having evolved over many years continuous development based on user feedback, Apollo-FM is licenced as a complete CAFM system. Apollo-FM is available to HFC members as a discounted product which means members receive the product at a better price than non-members. The actual price is dependent on the number of users the client requires. A set annual licence fee is charged and includes on-going development and support with software updates and database licences – so there are no surprises or additional costs to worry about.

Designed to be easy to use, amongst its many features are full-featured asset, financial, stock, helpdesk and task management modules. It also has a NHS Capital Charges module approved by independent auditors on behalf of the Department of Health. Data can be analysed and presented using the software’s reporting tools or represented visually using its innovative dashboard system.

Apollo-FM is entirely web-based so there is no client software to download or extra licences to pay for – everything is accessed through a standard web browser. Because of this it has a small bandwidth requirement and can be successful utilised on lower capacity networks. This means that Apollo-FM will operate comfortably on networks where other software may struggle with less network resources available.

Mobile working

Another major benefit of Apollo-FM is that it includes a “mobile” version which links to the main database and is designed specifically to be accessed through a smartphone. It will run on any make or model of device that is capable of running a browser and connecting to a network.

The Apollo-FM software allows tradestaff to log jobs directly into the helpdesk, and then log on and off the new job they have created, allowing on-call work to be recorded live.

This means there is no longer a need to keep inputting feedback data and that the data can be analysed and monitored in real-time so that managers can see where tradestaff are at any time and can redirect the closest member of the team should a more urgent job arise. It also enables the manager to monitor response times or identify problem areas such as backlog or faulty equipment. Apollo-FM also includes a dashboard system which can generate graphs, charts and tables showing all of this data in a variety of formats – for instance, a real-time list of jobs RAG colour-coded by response time that refreshes every few minutes, which can be of very real use to helpdesk operatives or supervisors.

As there are no software or annual support fees associated with the Apollo-FM Mobile software the Trust were able to invest in 40 iPhone 4 units for their tradestaff to process jobs in real-time. This represents an estimated saving of around £6,000 per annum in software licences plus a further £6,000 per annum in support fees.

During training, the tradestaff at Wirral commented that they liked the Apollo-FM Mobile system because it ‘wasn’t complicated’ in comparison to their previous system, thus achieving one of the major benefits which the Trust was seeking.

During the implementation process, the Trust requested changes to the system to improve functionality. These changes have been developed and installed under the HFC Support Licence for Apollo-FM and include the re-design of their Purchase Order forms to allow them to place orders with their suppliers electronically by e-mail and several other changes to the mobile software at the request of the tradestaff.

Wherever possible, HFC aims to include smaller system changes such as this within the annual licence fee and make the feature available to the wider community of Apollo-FM users.

If you would like to talk to a member of the team about Apollo-FM or arrange a demonstration of the software, please contact us via our enquiry form.