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GMSS IT team steps up to the COVID-19 challenge

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHS Greater Manchester Shared Services (GMSS) IT team has seen a significant increase in demand for IT support.

March saw the start of thousands of our CCG and primary care customers, plus our own staff, moving out of their offices and health care settings and the need for them to be able to work from home.

A huge challenge for the GMSS IT team, but together we’ve made it happen and provided the IT support required to help primary care continue across Greater Manchester throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

Thank you to all our customers for working with us through this extremely busy time and for helping to make all of this possible.

We are extremely proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in the last few months, working closely with our customers in this difficult time to best adapt our services to meet their new IT needs.

From the beginning of March to mid-May we’ve made some incredible things happen:

  • despite a global shortage and supply chain issues we have built and deployed over 2,300 new laptops for NHS staff across Greater Manchester – a whopping 1,207% increase on the previous three month period 
  • we have procured and send out over 4,700 devices including headsets, web-cams and smartcard readers, making working from home easier for our customers
  • we redesigned our network to enable 5, 000 home working connections from just 1,000 at the beginning of March – that’s up to 4,000 more NHS staff being able to work from home
  • to help our customers learn how to use our new IT services we made ‘how to’ guides available on our customer IT portal  
  • we quickly set up a dedicated home working option on our IT Service Desk phone system to provide our customers with the most appropriate support 
  • our IT Service Desk dealt with 31% more phone calls than normal   
  • being able to fix a customer’s IT issue remotely became a must, we quickly utilised new tools such as Microsoft Teams and fixed 77% of all problems in one call
  • we extended bank holiday and weekend cover to provide support to GPs and primary care
  • our customer satisfaction rating was an excellent 4.7 out of 5

There is still much more to do and we will continue to review, plan and improve our services to best meet the changing needs of our customers. Thank you to all our customers who have taken time out of their extremely busy day to thank us. We really do appreciate it!

Here’s a little snippet of what our customers have said about us:  

Deputy Clinical Director and IT Clinical Lead, NHS Manchester CCG: “Amazing progress in a short space of time, no small feat and more to do…thank you and the team for all the hard work that is going in to keep as much of the NHS working as possible.”

Doctor, Stockport: “May I please mention, IT support in this COVID pandemic has been absolutely phenomenal- so a Very Big THANK YOU to all of you for that”

Practice Manager and Primary Care IT Operations Group Chair, Trafford: “Just wanted to express my thanks to the GMSS team for organising the procurement and delivery of so much technical equipment at such short notice….we have managed to transform the working lives of our staff and manage the safety of both them and our patients.  A huge thank you…”

Head of Business Intelligence and Information Technology, NHS Salford CCG: “I would like to thank the GMSS team for their herculean efforts during the COVID crisis…standing up all possible resources to ensure sourcing and delivery of remote working solutions for primary care and CCGs.”