Navigating the Digital Landscape: A Journey with Jackie Tilston


Jackie Tilston, a seasoned contract digital project manager, has a knack for juggling multiple part-time contracts simultaneously.

Over the past year, Jackie has been applying her skills to digital project management, steering two website projects for distinct clients. Currently, she dedicates three days a week to a Liverpool NHS client, spearheading the delivery of an intranet, and devotes an additional day to enhancing a website for a prominent London law firm. All this, seamlessly executed from the delightful landscapes of Wales!


Transitioning Sectors: From Private to Public 

Jackie’s odyssey in project management commenced in the financial services sector, where Aviva equipped her with Prince2 and ITIL training. Her early projects primarily revolved around managing IT infrastructure initiatives. However, about five years ago, she felt the tug towards the public and not-for-profit sectors, leading her to traverse a trajectory that included delivering digital projects for a mental health NHS trust in Norfolk and the MS Society. Currently, she finds herself deeply engaged with the Walton Centre NHS Trust in Liverpool.


The Dynamics of Contracting in the NHS 

Working as a contractor in the NHS brings its unique set of benefits and challenges. On the positive side, Jackie takes pride in knowing that the projects she successfully delivers contribute to a service essential for all. The satisfaction lies in crafting digital products that enhance the daily workings of NHS professionals. Yet, challenges persist, as navigating the NHS environment demands time to build organizational knowledge, identify key stakeholders, and adapt project approaches to the prevailing culture. Patience becomes a virtue, contrasting the faster pace of the private sector, and stakeholder involvement takes precedence over stringent monitoring of time, cost, and quality.


Current Endeavours at the Walton Centre 

Jackie’s current focus is at the Walton Centre, a specialist NHS Trust in neurology and neurosurgery in Liverpool. Collaborating closely with the digital development agency, VerseOne, she is spearheading a comprehensive content renewal across all departments. This endeavor includes the implementation of a new design on their in-house Content Management System (CMS), with the aim of launching early next year. The challenges have been manifold, from an outdated intranet losing relevance to the varying levels of comfort with digital technology among NHS staff. One significant hurdle remains capturing the attention of the busy clinical staff.


Intranet’s Role and Benefits for Staff and Patients 

Jackie envisions the intranet becoming a central hub for information, housing policies and guidance. Beyond its informational role, the team aspires to elevate staff pride in the organization by presenting an aesthetically pleasing and modern intranet. Moreover, plans include incorporating additional functionality, such as a streamlined system for staff appreciation and a platform for non-work-related announcements, fostering a sense of community among the staff.


In Jackie Tilston’s journey through the intricate world of digital project management, her experiences underscore the challenges and triumphs inherent in navigating diverse sectors, particularly within the complex landscape of the NHS. Her commitment to delivering impactful digital solutions reflects not just professional prowess but a genuine dedication to enhancing the lives of those working in healthcare.


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