North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust recently merged into a single organisation in order to further improve long-term aims of integrated working across the largely rural communities served.

Over 8000 members of staff across the two organisations work in acute, community and mental health services and after a tender process, Frank pitched successfully and were appointed to build a joint staff extranet portal.

The Brief

The project team were looking to engage with a partner that would guide them through the project process. A key requirement for the project team was to provide all staff from both organisations with an equal opportunity to influence the functional brief, ensuring that the solution met all aspirations of the joint workforce.

A series of staff surveys and stakeholder engagement sessions provided staff with a forum to influence and feedback on portal priorities. Key requirements from end users were to provide an intuitive navigation structure, powerful search facilities, quick access to documents with a minimum number of clicks, and an interactive user experience utilising a high level of accessibility compliance.


The portal provides users with an intuitive navigation utilising menu rollover functionality to ensure users can view all pages of the portal without needing to click through the page structure.

Repeat users are provided with a personalised browsing experience by returning most popular and recently visited content searches and the site uses metadata and keyword searches to navigate quickly and easily through site document stores and key staff information. The staff extranet went live in December 2018, and initial feedback from all stakeholders is excellent and has been well received.

Frank will also launch the Trusts's new public facing website in Autumn 2019.