Verto Case Study: working with NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups  

Verto Case Study: working with NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups  

NHS Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group (AVCCG) is federated with NHS Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCG). They are among the 207 CCGs across England responsible for the planning and commissioning of healthcare services for their local area. Each CCG must assess its local needs, decide on its priorities and buy appropriate services.

CCGs have to regularly report on their plans and progress to NHS England, to their local Health and Wellbeing Board and to the public in their area. Their success is measured on how much they improve outcomes.

Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs are made up of 52 member GP practices over seven localities. They serve a population of more than 530,000 and have an annual budget in excess of £670 million.

Together the CCGs seek to: “Improve the quality of services provided, the experience of patients when using those services and most importantly to improve the health outcomes for the people we serve.”

They are both part of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which involves 27 health and care organizations: seven NHS CCGs, six NHS trusts and 14 local authorities. In June 2017 Buckinghamshire was announced as one of eight national areas to develop integrated working, known as an Accountable Care System.

What Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs wanted to achieve 

AVCCG and CCCG were using a manual process to manage their many projects and programmes, both within their own organization and for their work as part of the STP. This took up a lot of time and meant they had no way to see all the projects they were involved in or the progress and outcomes each project was making.

It was particularly time consuming for them to produce reports as they had to gather information from a number of places and that was often in different formats.

The CCGs wanted to make better use of their time and be able to more easily monitor and report on all their projects and programmes.

How we’re helping Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs achieve their goals 

We started working with AVCCG and CCCG in September 2016. After we’d set up Verto, we trained their project management office team (PMO) on how to use it and how to configure it suit their needs. The PMO then rolled the training out to staff across the CCGs. They went live with Verto in November 2016.

Because the PMO were able to configure Verto to meet their specific needs, AVCCG and CCCG now have a transparent system that allows them to see the lifecycle of all of their projects and programmes. They also have standard processes that all staff work to.

“With Verto being intuitive and configuration very straightforward, it has enabled us to create a common structured framework that supports project managers in the day to day running of their projects. Verto has very quickly become our central hub for all project information and the reporting ability within the system gives instant real-time data with one version of the truth.”

Elaine Baldwin, Programme Manager, AVCCG & CCCG

The benefits Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs are seeing

Verto has given AVCCG and CCCG the standard processes and visibility across projects and programmes they needed. This means they can easily monitor how each project and programme performs and measure the outcomes they achieve. They can also quickly and easily produce accurate reports, which they use to escalate and resolve issues with specific programmes as well as report on the financial savings they have delivered.

Prior to using Verto, AVCCG and CCCG had to use a number of different tools in different places to manage risk. Now they can use Verto to manage risk across all their projects, and on a corporate scale, as an integral part of their programme and project management work. This means staff only have to enter risks once, linked to their programmes or areas of work.

Now the PMO team produce a Verto update every week. This tells people what is going on with the current projects and programmes, has hints and tips to help users get the most from Verto and introduces new features, such as new reports that are available.

It can be difficult to ask people to adopt a new system and news ways of working. However, AVCCG and CCCG have found it easy to introduce Verto. They have worked directly with staff and have created a local user group so they can receive feedback and continue to develop their use of the system. Though Elaine Baldwin did stress that, “The support invested by our senior management team has been critical and instrumental in making Verto such a success.”

We continue to support AVCCG and CCCG. Together we are working towards having their version of Verto available to all the organizations involved in the Buckinghamshire Accountable Care System and eventually to the whole Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West STP. This will give them a standard management and reporting tool. To date, Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust are using it.

To find out more about how Verto can help your CCG, Accountable Care System or STP, please call us on 0118 334 6200 or message us here.


Meet the TMI Team: No. 1: Simon Hall, Head of Client Services  

Meet the TMI Team 

No. 1: Simon Hall, Head of Client Services  (and rockstar!)

“TMI were amazing with a can-do attitude. They were really responsive and sent people when we needed them, including spending all day in a freezing cold room and a half day on the phone. They went from nothing to complete build in three weeks” 

Ruth Hallett, Programme Manager, BNSSG STP 

We’re so proud of the relationship we have with our clients and the feedback they give us. We understand how much we can learn from them and how they help us develop Verto into the best possible tool it can be. It’s one of the key differences between Verto and other cloud-based project management software.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our outstanding staff team. We’re really proud of everyone who works here so we’d like to introduce them to you through this, our new, occasional feature.

Today we meet Simon Hall.

Hi Simon. So, first question, what’s your job title and what do you do here at TMI?

Hi. I’m TMI’s Head of Client Services. I make sure all of our clients are looked after and, as far as is technically possible, get what they want. A big part of my job is to liaise between our clients and our development team so they understand our clients’ requests and we move the product forward. Most of the best ideas come from our clients!

“The team from TMI provided excellent customer service. They prioritised our change requests and are good at turning things round when we need them to – straight away if they can. And they use our feedback to help them develop Verto so we, and others, can get more from it.” 

Laura Palmer, Portfolio Delivery Manager, the City of Wolverhampton Council

How long have you been working for TMI?

More than six years now, since early 2011.

What skills do you need to do your job well?

My job is all about communication and building relationships so listening skills and empathy are key. I need to be able to put myself in our clients’ shoes and really understand what they need so I can share this with our development team. I also need to work closely with the development team so I can understand what is and isn’t technically possible.

What has been your most memorable moment working for TMI?

It was when I travelled to Australia to set up Verto for a new client. Normally it can take up to a couple of months to do this but I had one week, on my own!  And because of the difference in time zones it was a challenge getting help from the team over here when I needed it.

But we all pulled together and I did it. Although the no messing, direct way Australians communicate was a real help.

What’s your favourite Verto feature and why?

There are loads. But if I have to choose one I’d say it’s the document storage feature.  It’s super simple.

It’s much easier to use than other tools out there or the complicated file structures a lot of people have. And it’s unlimited. It really helps people work together.

What are you currently working on?

We’re developing a tool that will mean our clients can share their databases and create centralised reports. For example, a council can share information with the local NHS and see everything that’s going on in a geographical area. It’s really exciting – as far as I know right now no other software can do this.

The way our clients work now - lots of partnerships and collaboration - means they want to quickly and easily share information with each other. It’s a huge technical challenge but this development means they’ll be able to do that.

What would people never guess you do in your role?

Our clients would probably never guess how hard I argue on their behalf. I represent them inside the company and make sure we do everything we can to meet their needs.

TMI’s clients frequently say how helpful we are. Who has helped you the most in your life and why?

It would have to be Phil James who was one of the directors here at TMI. He’s shown me how to work hard but keep a sense of humour; how to get the job done but make sure work is still fun.

If you could switch jobs with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

Elon Musk, from Space X and Tesla. It would be great to have that insight, to be able to see what’s coming 10 or 20 years down the line.

Do you have a secret talent you’re happy to share with the world? 

Yes. I’m a rock star! I play the drums and guitar. I’ve played in bands all my life and gigged in other countries. I’m also a qualified skydiver.

You’ve just got back from a week’s holiday. Where did you go and what did you do?

I went on a hut-to-hut hike in Bulgaria. We walked for 11 hours a day, carrying everything we needed on our backs. I’ve done hikes like this in Norway and Iceland as well. It’s a tough physical challenge but it’s good to be away from computer screens and out in the elements for a few days.

Thank you, Simon. Back to work for a rest then! Next time we’ll meet Mel Little our Client Services Manager.

“The team from TMI really listen. They’re keen to fix issues and do so in a really short time. They’re open to new ideas and see opportunities for development rather than problems. This makes the whole process of introducing a new system much easier.” 

Reza Rahmani-Torkaman, Head of Programme Management Office, West Cheshire CCG 

To find out more about how Verto can help you manage your projects and more easily work with others please call us on 0118 334 6200 or message us here.


Why using Verto will help your team’s continuing professional development

woman sits in corner of white room using a macbook air

We look at why using Verto will help your team’s continuing professional development...

What is continuing professional development?

Continuing professional development (CPD) is when people build on the knowledge and skills they have in relation to their job. These days advances in technology are constantly changing how we work, so the need to continuously upgrade our knowledge and skills is becoming more and more important. Actively engaging in CPD will help you stay effective in your role and keep you and your employer at the forefront of what you do.

Why is CPD important?

CPD will:

  • Give you an overview of your professional development to date
  • Highlight further development needs
  • Help you focus on your goals and direct your career
  • Provide examples and scenarios for a CV or interview
  • Demonstrate your professional standing to clients and employers

It will help both you and your employer stay on top of developments in best practice and maintain a professional advantage. Some professional bodies require that you actively participate in CPD as a condition of membership.

How Verto can help you and your team with your CPD 

You are likely to be participating in CPD without realising it. Because you can consider almost any relevant skills, knowledge and experience you gain, both formally and informally, as CPD. Crucially, the CPD process is a record not just of what you learn, but of what you learn and then apply. So CPD is more than just training.

As such, CPD is often self-directed and carried out on the job, rather than in a separate training event. It focusses on learning from experience, reflecting on what you’ve learnt and reviewing how you apply the learning in the future. And it’s here that Verto can play a vital role, for project managers, programme managers and anyone who is using it as part of their work on a project.

Verto is project management software built on accepted project management principles, including PRINCE2. So it makes it easy for you to:

  • Plan and manage the resources you need to deliver the project
  • Develop schedules and set milestones
  • Help stakeholders engage with the project
  • Communicate with everyone involved in the project
  • Accurately track and report on the project’s progress
  • Manage changes you may need to make to the project
  • Identify and manage risks the project faces

Verto encourages best practice

We designed Verto so it’s easy for anyone who’s using it to follow project management best practice. As Harpreet Riyat, Project and Resources Manager for the City of Wolverhampton Council, says, “Verto is very clear and easy to use. Everything is in front of you on one screen and it guides you through the whole process so it’s very easy to learn.”

So Verto will help you learn about project management best practice from experience. And as you continue to use it you can reflect on what you’ve learnt and apply it to your work in the future.

To find out more about how Verto can help you and your team with your continuing professional development please call us on 0118 334 6200 or sign up for our 30 day free trial today!