Streamlining customer journeys to better meet the changing needs of the NHS

NHS Property Services manage property across the UK worth more than £3bn. This makes it one of the largest property portfolios in the UK.

NHS Property Services new medical centre

NHS Property Services is a highly complex business delivering services that span cleaning clinical areas, maintenance and repairs all the way through to providing consultancy advice, disposing of property and building new health campuses. Its customers include GP Practice Managers, Private health providers, Facilities Managers and Finance Managers working in Hospital Trusts and Directors working in ICSs (Integrated Care Systems).

As you will be aware the NHS is changing rapidly with an ever-increasing demand for efficiency and cost effectiveness. NHS Property Services has an ongoing programme of transformation to improve operational performance.  In part this has been driven by its inheritance of “multiple information systems as well as inconsistent business processes1

To help the organisation become more customer centric and better positioned to support evolving NHS needs they asked Customer Journey Consultancy to map 28 existing customer journeys and to redesign and streamline them.  As part of this journey mapping, they also wanted some 22 key customer personas to be documented and considered as a part of the journey mapping.

They needed the project to be completed in just 3 months.

Agreeing the scope

Our first job was to agree with the Client the best way to deliver the end results they required.

We helped them evaluate the complexity, internal manpower and degree of duplication that would exist if they attempted to map every journey for every type of customer.   We debated the value of speaking to customers to both challenge and enhance internal perceptions of customer experiences and needs.

And finally, we also explored the need to upskill their own staff to deliver customer journey mapping and agreed a combination of shadowing, mentoring and provision of template documentation.

In the end we combined the As Is journeys into 10 To Be journeys, focused on the 4 most important Personas and included in-depth customer research to both validate those personas and to capture real customer experiences and needs.

To deliver this work within the required timescales we dedicated a team of 5 Customer Journey experts to the project for 3 months supported by 3 members of the Client team who we also helped train up and who went on to independently conduct customer journey mapping.

Together this team completed some 260 hours of workshop.  To ensure that the different practices across the UK were captured, with the minimum disruption we used virtual collaboration and mapping software.

Project outcomes

This extremely ambitious project was completed on time, on budget and in full.

For the first time was the business able to see exactly what happens across all of its services and how customers feel about these experiences. The project also identified the many strengths and things it should feel rightly proud about. And finally, we were also able to identify 5 key issues that were holding the business back and undermining some of the good work it did.

To help the business improve efficiency and to better meet the needs of its NHS customers we prioritised 14 changes.  Four of these were essential changes that will help NHSPS successfully drive change, quickly improve key pain points and reduce customer and colleague effort

Other changes were designed to help consolidate these essential changes and to enable the digitisation of high volume, less complex interactions.

The organisation has adopted these findings in a major change and restructure programme.  For example, just 6-weeks after we delivered our findings the merger of two Customer Support Centres was announced2.

"A key theme that emerged is that our customers need one single ‘front door’ to get in touch with us.2 "


NHS Property Services has an ongoing programme of transformation to improve operational performance, to become more customer centric and better positioned to support the evolving needs of the NHS.

We had an incredibly demanding schedule and appointed Customer Journey Consultancy (CJC) to help us:

  • Map 14 As Is Customer Journeys
  • Consolidate those into 10 To Be customer journeys
  • Build on the early work NHSPS had done on Personas to produce 8 detailed Personas
  • To conduct in-depth research with customers matching the 4 most important of these Personas
  • To work with our CX team to help them develop their own ability to produce customer journey maps
  • Produce a CX strategy and roadmap
  • Present their findings to our senior leadership team

Among other things the project required some 260 hours of virtual workshops with teams from across the organisation and country. We gave CJC just over 3 months to complete the project.

CJC put a highly experienced senior team on the project and delivered everything we asked to a very high standard - in full, on time and on budget.

The work was demanding but the CJC team were fun to work with, professional and accommodating throughout.

We felt we were in very safe hands and it was a joy to work with them.  We are grateful for what they did to help us deliver this project.  I am very happy to recommend them to you.

Dave Kidd, Head of Business & Data Improvement, NHS Property Services Ltd