NHS Networks launches on the Beetlebrow platform
After several years in the doldrums, the NHS Networks site has got a lovely new front end and functionality, thanks to Beetlebrow, Zope and Plone.
NHS Networks are formal or informal groups of people working within the NHS who share an interest. Usually this is an NHS-related interest, often clinical, such as the Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance, but in many cases it's not work related. What they had before we rebuilt things was a fairly dry listings site, where Networks could ask to be registered and have a few simple web pages built for them.
We were asked to build something that would allow Networks to be much more self-sufficient, creating and managing sites of their own within the main Networks framework, allowing new members to join easily, and encouraging the creation of links between networks covering similar areas. All of this was to help make individual networks more productive and to promote and spread best practice between different, but related, organisations.
What we've built is a system that hands control back to network administrators. In four short steps, taking approximately three minutes, they can creating a fully-functioning network web site. And by fully functioning we don't just mean it has a homepage and a few extras. Administrators are free to add forums (which can be open or closed), blogs, gallery, videos, podcasts, event notifications, news stories and images anywhere they like, with an easy-to-use toolbox which, while adapted from basic Plone functionality, is, as far we know, pretty unique in it friendliness and simplicity. Anything can be left open to the public or set to be viewable by network members only.
We're very proud of the work we've done, and NHS Networks are pleased too. We invite you to check it out at http://www.networks.nhs.uk/.