Following a successful bid and proposal, Radical were commissioned by Dementia United, Greater Manchester Integrated Care in partnership with Health Innovation Manchester as their Design and Development Partner to develop a digital Dementia Care Pathway. Dementia United (DU) is Greater Manchester’s dementia programme; aiming to make Greater Manchester (GM) the best place to live if you are affected by dementia or if you work to support people living with dementia and family members/carers.
The Dementia Care pathway aims to provide people living with dementia, carers, family members, health and care staff and commissioners with standards for care and support along with the services available to them from across GM; from prevention, to ensure timely diagnosis and tailored post diagnostic support through to end of life care.
In collaboration with key stakeholders, from across health and care including people with lived experience as part of the Dementia United’s planning group; Radical defined and developed the digitisation of Greater Manchester’s Dementia Care Pathway with accessible designs, an easy-to-navigate site architecture, and a user-friendly website.
The key focus initially was on the design of a data-heavy website that can be navigated easily and be highly accessible for all. The content strategy and a sitemap were produced to allow users to navigate the website in multiple ways and find the information suitable to them. Interactive features such as speech-to-text input, font size changes, and download and direct print capabilities were also considered.
The designs took into consideration the various accessibility requirements of the diverse users, following the WCAG requirements. Keeping in mind a range of users with special abilities, the design does not use colour alone to communicate information and provides additional identification that does not rely on colour perception. Distinct styles were provided for interactive elements, such as links and buttons, to make it easy for users to identify them.
Several workshops were hosted and guided by the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to allow stakeholders to understand the designs and provide feedback. The initial designs were refined following the feedback from various stakeholders and focus group discussions.
With a strong foundation set in the designs, the focus shifted to bringing that to life in an early prototype website which was shared with the client, who in turn were able to share with wider stakeholders and end-users. The initial development focus was to provide a prototype version of the website to give the client a tangible product they could interact with to give feedback. The prototype delivered a significant part of the website from a User Interface and Experience perspective but without a fully dynamic exchange of data from the CMS.
Following positive feedback, the prototype was enhanced with increased functionality and content, with new versions shared with the client according to development progress and the client’s coordination with their wider audience.
Based on the client's requirement for an easy-to-update CMS for all back-end users with varied digital expertise, WordPress was used as a headless CMS. The majority of the WordPress tool usage was through bespoke custom fields and API endpoints to deliver the content to the website.
The development of the CMS to support the website was staggered to link up to the website on a later timeline as the data relationships needed to be confirmed and the database structure implemented in WordPress.
There has been an ongoing dialogue between the Radical team and the client which has been effective in moving the project forward. Radical has hosted training sessions through a combination of hands-on training with access to the test CMS shared with the client at an early stage where Development was in progress, along with the provision of a user guide document towards final client testing.
The website was launched on the 6th June 2022. The site and CMS are available at a Production level with content updates being made as required up to a final launch date. Post-Live support will be available to ensure that the website is running at full efficiency and minimal down time.
We partnered with Radical to design and develop the Dementia Care Pathway. Radical did an excellent job of understanding the exact requirements and designed a website that is visually appealing, accessible and has an easy CMS. The exceptional project management and weekly meetings ensured that the quality of work and budget was monitored at all times. We were impressed with Radical's timely delivery and continue our relationship in the form of website support and maintenance.
- Gill Walters | Senior Implementation and Improvement lead
NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care
Team Radical has enjoyed being a part of Greater Manchester’s journey in defining and developing the digital Dementia Care Pathway. In the process, we have earned first-hand knowledge of the gaps in services which were the reason for the development of the digital resource as well as hearing the perspectives of people with lived experience of dementia. The weekly sessions allowed us to build a lasting relationship with the key stakeholders and build an understanding based on their participation. The interactive workshops allowed us to gain an insight into the requirements, leading to a successful design and build. The end product is something we are proud of and we’re excited to see it in use.