The Fleming Fund: Creating a new GDS website within four months
How Softwire was able to help a major UK aid programme combat the spread of antibiotic-resistance.
The Fleming Fund is a high-profile UK government aid programme helping low- and middle-income countries tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Its aim is to contribute to a worldwide surveillance system that can be used by clinicians and governments alike to slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and ensure patients are given the right treatments first time. Fleming Fund is the largest single global programme for antibacterial resistance surveillance, and is high on the agenda of the UK government’s Chief Medical Officer. The programme needed a new website to help raise awareness of AMR, enable potential beneficiaries to explore funding opportunities, and showcase the work Fleming Fund is doing.
We understood users’ needs and crafted a rich and engaging experience to help Fleming Fund achieve its aims.
Our role was to create the new website in line with Government Digital Service (GDS) standards, starting with discovery and delivering a live beta within four months. As this was the Fleming Fund’s first GDS-aligned digital service, it also wanted our guidance on how to successfully deliver this type of project.
We started by speaking to a broad range of stakeholders inside and outside the Fleming Fund. This included the UK government’s Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies.
Our research enabled us to create an information architecture and wireframes. Through further user interaction, we continually refined these and helped produce the right content for each page. We designed the look-and-feel to GDS standards, helping the Fleming Fund evolve its branding to create an appealing visual experience.
GDS service assessment
Before the site could launch in public beta, it needed to pass its GDS service assessment. We helped The Fleming Fund prepare and went to the assessment as a joint team.
The site passed its GDS assessment with flying colours, and our agile upskilling is helping the Fleming Fund deliver other projects more effectively.
We completed the new website ahead of the GDS assessment, and successfully demonstrated to the assessors that we had met all the users’ requirements. Consequently, the site passed every single point on the assessment and has now been launched into public beta, where it’s being looked after by our software support team.
Penny Walker-Robertson, Head of the Fleming Fund, takes up the story, explaining the impact the new site has had: “As well as making many of our day-to-day tasks easier and less time-consuming, it’s made us more ambitious about the resources we want to generate. We now have the platform to create and share better things, which helps massively with our goal to continually raise awareness of AMR. We can now also see whole new ways to connect with our audience.”
She continues, reflecting on Softwire’s role: “We needed a partner that offered the complete spread of skills we required, was really proactive and willing to guide us through the process. Softwire were great value for money and gave us lots of confidence: they were so inspired, passionate and proactive. And along the way, they built capability within our team.
“For example, having seen first-hand how to do agile so professionally, we now use it in our non-digital projects. It’s been a massive help, particularly when we need to deliver projects to ministers quickly.
“Overall, working with Softwire was light and easy and fun. Their workshops were real highlights in our diaries, and people here were eager to get involved and be part of this way of thinking and working. As a partner, they were absolutely fantastic.”
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