Case Study

NHS Greater
Glasgow & Clyde

Connecting the UK's largest health board with its 1.2m patients. web. umbraco. ux

Extensive redesign and redevelopment of the NHSGGC website to make it easy for patients and staff to access the information and services they require.


Used in equal measure by professionals, patients and the general public, the site had to be designed for modern day use, be future proof and be capable of accommodating existing historical content.

Increased mobile and tablet device usage demanded a flexible design approach that allowed easy access of relevant data through various touch points.

Users Icon 1.8m

unique users annually

Search icon 750,000

page-views a month

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Devices screenshots
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde screenshots

Powered by Umbraco

With such a large team of content managers(>200), the NHSGGC project demanded a high level of innovation in the content management system and author experience.

We selected the open source CMS Umbraco as the best fit for NHSGGC’s requirements and budget.

Even though ‘out of the box’, Umbraco is a powerful and flexible open source content management system, NHSGGC’s requirements were such that a number of custom modifications were required to the standard Umbraco admin functionality. Enhancements were made to the content editor’s permission management for content and media, and additional webmaster reports were created for audit and analysis of content editor activity.

Umbraco Registered Partner
Users Icon 200+

content editors

Checkmark icon


Blocks icon 120


Pages Icon 6,000+

pages of content

Documents Icon 15,000


Enhancing the AX (Author Experience)

The design and build concept called for very modular and flexible layout capabilities, yet allowing NHSGGC content managers as much scope as possible to create their own page layouts within the overall corporate look and feel constraints.

In addition to standard ‘text and images’, page content could be developed as sets of configurable panels – with content editors able to select from a suite of panel layouts and capabilities without any technical knowledge.

A suite of shareable ‘site widgets’ was also developed, that allows easy deployment of features such as Twitter feeds, Find My Nearest, Custom Navigation, Video delivery.

This included internal ‘advertising’ management and ‘smart sidebars’ providing the core web team with quick and simple method to push site wide messages to visitors.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Mobile
Tools icon

Ongoing Support and Maintenance

Our team are also responsible for ongoing content and technical support and have a SLA tailored specifically to meet NHSGGC’s needs, covering items such as response times, escalation process and key contacts.

Home icon

Hosting and infrastructure

A cloud-based hosting infrastructure was also implemented with backup and content delivery network (CDN) facilities.

With such a busy site, Cloudflare CDN was used to help handle large traffic volumes, caching static site content such as CSS, javascript files and static images. The CDN saves bandwidth (typically 33% / month), allowing the use of more cost-effective servers. As a bonus, serving content via Cloudflare acts as a barrier to malware and malicious server attacks.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Hospital Photo
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Hospital Photo
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Hospital Photo

Factory73 approach their work in a very practical but enthusiastic way, which comes across in what they do, so it’s clearly a passion to them.

They are a very easy-going bunch who understand our needs no matter how we present them and are hands-down one of the best web companies we have had the pleasure to work with.

Brian McMullan
Web / Multimedia Lead, Communications,
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

In Summary

Without doubt, the NHSGCC is one of the largest projects we’ve worked on to date and whilst development of a site of this size can present challenges, they are ones we relished. What we learned from overcoming these challenges has been put to great use on subsequent NHS projects and other client work.

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