Nursing Associates case study

Project developed for the Nursing and Midwifery Council

Fortesium first began working with Nursing & Midwife Council in 2010, and their close working partnership has delivered a fully functional range of tailored web portals, enabling 700,000 active registrants to interact effectively with NMC systems, circumventing cumbersome paper-based systems previously used to process registrants.


Challenge of project

In 2016, the government introduced legislation to support the new qualification level Nursing Associate, and in 2018 Fortesium were chosen to expand functionality to support this new level of qualification. At the same time, responding to capacity constraints highlighted by this project, the NMC planned an upgrade of their core applications, adding further complexity to an already demanding project. The solution’s design required the team to rework existing portals, overcome scalability and performance challenges, introduce new functionality and processes, integrate with new systems, and rigorously test the solution prior to release.


Solution design and implementation

The key objectives of the project were to deliver comprehensive and robust functionality to support the introduction of the Nursing Associate role to UK healthcare with no negative outcomes for the existing Register, Registrants, or the NMC as an organisation. The project had to deliver to the January 2019 date mandated by Government if the Government and in the turn the NMC were to avoid significant reputational impact.

Work began in June 2018, with knowledge that key requirements would continue to evolve over the lifetime of the project.  The chosen solution built on existing design and functionality principles. However, it became clear in the early design stages that the increased volume of transactions would detrimentally affect core underlying NMC systems, and thus new technology had to be integrated to support the expanding functionality. Microsoft Dynamics CRM was chosen to support these operations; Fortesium partnered with CloudSource to help integrate this new technology with the system, which brought a fresh set of new requirements for the project.

Given the multiple stakeholders (Department of Health, NMC, HEIs, CloudSource, Fortesium, etc.) and the evolving technical and functional requirements, the project adopted an Agile methodology; Fortesium, the NMC and all partners worked to create sets of stories and sprints to effectively manage the development and delivery of the required modifications. As development progressed the project team, working with the HEIs, began a comprehensive regular review of the entire solution with amendments, refinements and requests being added to the Backlog and Sprints as the project progressed.


Project outcomes

All the functionality required to facilitate the introduction and governance of the new ‘Nursing Associate’ role was successfully delivered, on behalf of the Nursing & Midwifery Council, on time and within budget on the 7th January 2019. The team at Fortesium worked to extremely tight deadlines whilst closely liaising between the multiple stakeholders, understood the legislation requirements, managed and adapted to changing stakeholder requirements, and met very stringent privacy and security standards. The solution design required the team to rework existing portals, overcome scalability and performance challenges, introduce new functionality and processes, integrate with new systems, and rigorously test the solution prior to release. These aspects emphasise the logistical and technical complexity that was required from Fortesium to deliver the project.

The project has added considerable value to the NMC, enhancing its reputation and helping facilitate a key part of the Governments healthcare agenda, with no impact on existing NMC services.