South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has become the first NHS trust to launch a fully responsive website.
With more and more internet users accessing sites from mobile devices the trust has teamed up with website agency Mixd to develop a site that is just as accessible from a mobile phone as it is from a desk top computer.
Marie Lozman, e-communications officer for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “It’s fantastic to be the first NHS trust to launch a fully responsive website. Our patients can now easily find out about our hospitals and community services even when they are on the move.
“Accessibility is one of the key aspects of our service so it was vital that we created a website that enabled quick and clear access to information, regardless of where or how it’s viewed.
“You can also now find us on Twitter @SouthTees or follow us on Facebook so it has never been easier to keep up to date with your local hospitals and health services.”
A communications review by the trust, involving both staff and members of the public, revealed the website was one of the main communication tools the trust needed to improve.
User research demonstrated many situations requiring urgent access to information – such as when people were travelling to a hospital or during an emergency – so the site was built from the outset using a ‘mobile first’ strategy to focus purely on its most important content.
The new site is fully responsive to all browsers and device formats, ensuring that it remains as clear and accessible to a mobile user ‘on the go’ as it does on a full-sized screen.
Phil Shackleton, digital director of Mixd said: “A fully responsive site such as this perfectly optimises content so that users have a great experience irrespective of their device.”
The new website – www.southtees.nhs.uk – is designed to be easy to navigate, contains an improved search facility and features a new fundraising section where people can donate online.
The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and the area’s community hospitals each have their own section on the website packed with useful information such as driving directions, parking details and visiting times.
Visitors to the site can join the trust as a member, provide feedback, view patient experience videos and latest news, read patient stories, nominate staff for awards and download board papers, annual reports and information leaflets.
There is also a health improvement section providing lifestyle advice on everything from stopping smoking and weight management to walking groups and healthy heart checks.