Demelza is a registered charity which operates in the South East of England, including South East London, Kent and East Sussex. It was first established in 1994 and in 1998 started providing care. Demelza provides palliative care to babies, children and young people up to the age of 18, with a serious or terminal illness and is “an active and total approach to care, from the point of diagnosis or recognition throughout the child’s life and death”. Demelza is a nurse-led service with GP on-call arrangements and close liaison with tertiary (specialised) palliative care teams.
The organisation has two hospice facilities. The largest is located in Sittingbourne, Kent, with nine in-patient beds and a range of other facilities including a hydro pool and cinema room. The second hospice has six beds and is located in Eltham in South East London. Services provided by Demelza include end-of-life care, symptom management, respite or short breaks, safeguarding placements, family liaison, therapies, bereavement support, counselling and family events.
For some time, Demelza recognised the need for digital development and had taken some initial steps, including creating digitally-oriented posts and installing a new IT system. However, these steps were not connected by an overarching strategy to drive digital transformation via a strategic programme of work. Demelza engaged in a market testing exercise to look at a partner to work with on their Digital Transformation Strategy, Having ably demonstrated our ability to connect with Demelza stakeholders and quickly understand their organisation’s challenges, the Board selected Servita as its strategic partner, initially tasked with delivering Demelza’s Digital Transformation Strategy
Servita rapidly assembled a team of expert consultants in project management, clinical processes, business processes, and digital technology. Over three months, we conducted a Deep Dive Review of Demelza’s organisation through collaborative workshops and job shadowing with key resources and subject matter experts. This comprehensive review enabled us to gain a detailed understanding of Demelza’s objectives, goals, current operations, and processes.
Based on our extensive experience in digital transformation, we devised a Digital Transformation Strategy for Demelza, identifying 21 prioritized projects to be delivered over a three-year period. This strategy aimed to build capacity, allowing Demelza to provide more services to more children and families. As the organisation embarked on its transformation journey, Servita consultants provided expert support in Strategic Planning, SWOT Analysis, Strategy Implementation, and Strategy Execution, including Performance Management and Risk Management.
Demelza has made significant progress in its digital transformation journey, with numerous key achievements unlocked through Servita’s Strategy Management support. These accomplishments include IT system improvements, simplified processes, reduced administration, integration of all key systems, and a streamlined IT estate. Demelza is now well on its way to securing lasting results from its new Digital Transformation Strategy, building its own digitally capable workforce. As Servita consultants transfer knowledge and skills, our role evolves into that of a critical friend, supporting Demelza’s continued growth and development.
The Digital Transformation Strategy developed by Servita has empowered Demelza to deliver enhanced services to children and families, transforming palliative care in the South East of England. Our collaboration demonstrates the power of strategic partnerships and innovative thinking in overcoming challenges and delivering excellence in digital transformation, ultimately improving the lives of those in need.