At UCLH (University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) our mission is to deliver top-quality patient care, excellent education and world-class research. We serve people from across England and Wales as well as abroad, helping more than one million patients every year. The Trust’s Capital Investment arm manages the construction and maintenance of capital assets such as buildings and highly specialised medical equipment.

 As the Construction Contractor and Information Manager at UCLH, I manage the approved contracts and framework designers across all the Trust’s sites. Coordinating these projects involves sharing large volumes of plans and files among the project teams, and this is where Huddle has become invaluable. Traditionally we had used e-mail to share information, but with increasing number of people involved, and the size and number of files, distribution of materials was proving challenging. As is often the case when relying on email, it was also extremely difficult to keep track of which was the current version of a given file. E-mail was also very slow at transferring multi-MB CAD (Computer Aided Design) and BIM (Building Information Modelling) files.

The feedback from our 300-plus Huddle users has been overwhelmingly positive. With Huddle the teams can now access and share these large files easily and we can be absolutely sure that everyone is seeing the correct information. Beyond version control, the audit trails, which are detailed records created for each project activity, serve a particularly important role in the construction sector. For example in the disposal of asbestos where regulatory compliance requires the auditable adherence to specific processes. Other critical features include the approvals functions, which means project managers can instantly see who accessed the project files and when. Project information is also very clearly organised in Huddle, which makes my job of creating regular reports a lot easier.  Our teams are much more transparent and this means we are able to report beyond our team with much more timely detail and with far greater accuracy.

A large and exciting project currently underway within UCLH is the creation of the high energy proton beam therapy (PBT) centre. PBT is an advanced form of radiotherapy used to treat certain types of cancers, and is particularly suitable for complex childhood cancers. Currently, PBT treatment is only available outside the UK, but in 2015 the government announced an investment of £250 million to develop two UK PBT centres, one at UCLH and one at The Christie in Manchester. The PBT centre construction team has 40 members who all use a dedicated Huddle workspace to help coordinate the project, share and edit documents and design files and support team wide collaboration. With the UCLH centre expected to be operational in 2019, project teams will be able to enjoy automatic auditing and the ability to access and collaborate on files instantly, even on mobile, for years to come. 

Olivia Mulholland

Construction Contractor & Information Manager, UCLH

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