Case Study: DREEAM project to support the NHS
Steve Allen

This year more than ever before, we've all been extremely proud of - and grateful to - the NHS teams up and down the country who have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this time, Adaptive were delighted to have the opportunity to support one of the NHS teams in Nottingham through the development of a new website which helps to inspire and train the medical personnel of the future.

"Adaptive has identified solutions rather than barriers to help us make our website a truly exceptional resource for our staff and students."

DREEAM budgeted for the project on the basis of being able to take an existing part-built site forward. However the need to instead start from scratch meant that the project would go quite a way over the initial time/budget allocated to it. However, Adaptive have been happy to absorb the additional work need on the project, at our own cost, to ensure that we could deliver a website which we felt properly represented the fantastic work being done by DREEAM and all their colleagues within the NHS.

We're proud to have done our little bit to support the NHS during a time when they were working harder than ever.

About the client

DREEAM - Department of Research and Education in Emergency Medicine, Acute Medicine and Major Trauma - are based within the emergency department of the QMC hospital in Nottingham. They deliver healthcare education and training across a wide range of medical subjects.

The brief

DREEAM had been working for a number of years, without success, to develop and launch their own website to highlight the work they do and the training courses available to book via the department. However, the project had stalled a number of times for various reasons.

They were therefore looking to work with someone who could pick up the project and provide guidance on how to move things forward in terms of properly identifying all the requirements of the website, creating the design/UX for the project and then developing a complete Drupal solution which delivered on the brief. Their two key challenges on the project were that both available time within the department to focus on the project and budget were relatively low.

The key goals

  • To launch a professional-looking website that clearly guides visitors through the various roles and functions of DREEAM and highlights the services available to potential trainees
  • To create a clean, fully responsive design that ties in with DREEAM's established logo and colour scheme
  • To ensure that the large volume of content that DREEAM wishes to convey to visitors is organised and presented in a clear and structured way to the relevant audience
  • To develop a system for searching and displaying the various courses available from DREEAM and to enable users to be able to book course places online via the website in a clear and simple way
The homepage of the DREEAM website, developed in Drupal by Adaptive
The homepage of the DREEAM website

The approach

Although the initial plans had been to take forward the existing part-built site that DREEAM already had, it soon became clear that this wasn't really fit for purpose and would need a large amount of work to adapt. We therefore decided to start afresh with a brand new site build.

We held numerous discussions with DREEAM to fully understand what the organisation does and how best to represent this on their website. We reviewed all the existing content that the team had prepared for the website and worked to structure that in a way that would make sense to visitors and would result in a clear navigation menu that wasn't overly cluttered.

Wireframes and design visuals were produced for the website which aligned with DREEAM's logo and colour scheme, with separate colours representing the three key strands of DREEAM activity - Education, Research and Resources.

The website was then developed in Drupal, which much of it being built utilising Adaptive's own suite of Drupal Paragraphs. These provide site editors with flexible but easy-to-use page layout options, enabling the creation of attractive and varied content pages throughout the website.

Given DREEAM's specific requirements around the Course booking system, we opted to create a bespoke solution for this through the development of a series of custom modules. The resulting functionality enables users to find courses, based on subject and/or date, and to then book their places via a clear online booking form. Customers can opt to be invoiced offline for the booking or pay online via integration with an existing NHS payment portal.

Course booking form shown on the DREEAM website
A clear booking process guides users through the process of booking a DREEAM course online

The outcomes

On launch, the website has received positive feedback, both from within DREEAM, the wider emergency department and from other areas of Nottingham University Hospitals too. Feedback from visitors to the site has also been positive and numerous online courses are now taken each week through the website.

Training and support has been provided to team members at DREEAM who are now able to manage the site largely autonomously, including adding new content to the site and managing the new courses/course dates being added regularly to the booking system.

Further post-launch developments have introduced further enhancements to the course booking system, including the ability for customers to now book places on multiple courses within a single booking and to also place group bookings for multiple participants on courses too.

We have also integrated the Drupal website with DREEAM's Moodle e-learning platform. This has resulted in customers who make website bookings for e-learning courses being then automatically signed up to the relevant course(s) within the Moodle platform, so are able to immediately start their learning without having to wait for any further manual administrative intervention by DREEAM beforehand.

The whole course booking system has been further adapted to enable other departments within Nottingham University Hospitals to also be able to take online bookings for their own courses via the platform. So far, two departments - EMRAD and the Institute for Care Excellence - have successfully increased their course booking numbers by utilising the platform.

We are continuing to work closely with the team at DREEAM on further developments for the website going forward.

Visit the DREEAM website

The feedback

We had been working on our website for a few years [with another developer] but, never launched it as we felt it missed the mark and never truly represented us as an inter-professional service.

Working with Adaptive really opened our eyes to the possibilities that our website could offer us. Adaptive took the time to understand us as a team, and this is reflected in our amazing website. It’s opened up so many new opportunities for us to grow and develop as a service (within a large NHS Teaching Trust) and as a business.

Adaptive has identified solutions rather than barriers to help us make our website a truly exceptional resource for our staff and students.

Steve Davidson
Business Development Project Lead, DREEAM