Bringing a dispersed workplace together

How the NHS uses Twine to foster communities and share knowledge

Developing better leaders, delivering better care

The NHS Leadership Academy is the NHS’s fast-track training scheme for graduates. With 1700 staff and trainees split across multiple locations nationally, the scheme is essential in training the next generation of leaders for one of the world’s largest employers. If the scheme is to function to its full potential, and the NHS is to maintain its high standard of care, these staff need to have all the necessary resources easily accessible.

A dispersed workforce

The Leadership Academy came to Twine with a few specific problems that they wanted to solve:

  • Staff were dispersed throughout the UK, but needed access to the same information and resources.
  • Trainees are always on the go and many do not work at a desk – the new system had to perform flawlessly on devices like smartphones and tablets.
  • Knowledge sharing – many were doing the same schemes but in different locations, so having a support system of other trainees to talk to would be invaluable.
  • Management needed a place to collect and analyse each trainee’s professional progress in order to measure productivity and efficiency.

If the Leadership Academy could improve these aspects, they could have better trained leaders, whilst running a more efficient scheme. At a time when the NHS was feeling increasingly squeezed due to Government cuts, proving efficiencies was more important than ever.

The solution

We’re no stranger to these challenges. Organisations from all sorts of industries come to us with the same basic issue: they need to connect their people, content and ideas together. These are the key ways Twine worked for the NHS.

Access on the go

The NHS demands a lot of its people. Those on the Leadership Academy particularly so. It’s not all desk work either, so they can’t assume that all participants of the scheme have any way to access their intranet on anything other than a smartphone, or perhaps a tablet.

Twine performs flawlessly on smaller screens like smartphones and tablets. In other systems, mobile access is an afterthought, but not with Twine. Because we design for mobiles before moving on to bigger screens, the experience is just as good on desktop – even on 3G (when you can’t find that coffee shop with the Wifi).

Regular feedback

Since putting the intranet live, we’ve garnered regular feedback from NHS trainees. This sort of insight helps us make design improvements to make a more intuitive, more useful system that makes the scheme more efficient. Here’s what we heard:

‘I have to commute to work, so being able to access Twine on the train is really useful’

‘The forum is good if you want to ask “does anyone know anything about ‘x’” and it’s an easy way to speak to everyone in one go.’

‘The document store is one of the most useful parts of the platform. I probably use it almost every day’

By far, the biggest concern of the users that we spoke to was having a system that was easy to use. More than anything, employees just want to get their job done quickly and easily.

No training required

Intuitiveness was essential. With 1700 users, the NHS couldn’t spend the time and money carrying out in-depth training sessions for each user. No, they need something that could be picked up and easy to use, just like you would when you download an app on your phone. Tech-savvy staff expect it, and for those who are not so technically competent it’s doubly important that the interface is clear and intuitive.


“We’ve been really impressed with how Twine have worked with us – it’s proven to be a great tool for tracking progress and managing the graduates.”

Rob Farace, NHS Leadership Academy

Rob Farace

An intranet for the modern workplace

The results of this forward thinking approach to training and collaboration is an intranet that is used heavily every day. The uptake has been strong and the stats back it up. That’s why they’ve been using Twine since 2012.

A very healthy 76% of users access the system every day, and on average the system sees around 50,000 page views per month.

The mobile first strategy has proved worthwhile too, with 20% of traffic from a mobile device (phone or tablet).

We’re always pushing updates and improvements to Twine, so the NHS Leadership Academy enjoy a long lasting system that is moving forward with technology.