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Building better hospitals with Power Framework

11 July 2022 Time to read:  minutes


Building hospitals of the future is a key priority for the UK government, with £3.7 billion pledged to construct 40 hospitals by 2030. But igniting the biggest hospital building programme in a generation has meant that new design and construction standards have had to be embraced across the country. To this end, ‘NHS design blueprints’ will facilitate the standardisation of new hospitals and make use of modular construction methods to speed up building projects.

In the Midlands, business case development work had already been underway at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) since 2018. This project of works encompassed Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield hospitals, as well as investing in new facilities at the Leicester General site. However, after the 2020 announcement, the Trust was incorporated into the government’s wider vision, becoming one of just eight ‘pathfinder schemes’ in the UK. This gave the Project Management Office (PMO) a change of focus.

The Challenge

Being the custodians of the Trust’s information and reporting, the PMO strives to work holistically across Estates Management, Facilities and a myriad of hospital support teams. Delivering on the capital investment and launching future-ready facilities was no mean feat, creating a volume of new reporting requirements. Losing valuable resources by copy and pasting from data sources, was cumbersome and time consuming. As the project expanded, the team could no longer rely on Excel or MS Project alone to report on the capital investment progress.

“The scale was already immense and had now grown overnight. We were looking for a single place for all the business intelligence and governance to sit, allowing us to access and share information across the Trust and externally.”

Justin Hammond, Head of the Reconfiguration Program Management Office for University Hospitals of Leicester

After re-grouping and assessing the adjusted scale of the programme, coupled with a high volume of stakeholders and planning boards to satisfy, Justin was reticent to onboard one of the various construction project management tools which may have been problematic to integrate within the Trust. He recognised that making the right investment into the supporting technology for the programme was crucial.

The team were delighted when eventually they found a solution that could be deployed right into the Trust’s Microsoft Cloud platform to foster a data-driven culture for the PMO.

The Solution

A collaboration between UHL, Trustmarque, and Program Framework
Trustmarque’s Healthcare Client Director Leigh-Anne Whittingham, had been supporting UHL for nearly a decade, and became alerted to the PMO team’s predicament via the Trust’s CIO Andy Carruthers. Presenting Trustmarque with the PMO’s reporting and governance challenges, Leigh-Anne was able to recommend Program Framework, a consulting firm specialising in the enablement of Portfolio, Programme & Project teams.

Following the initial introduction, Gero Renker (Director of Program Framework) could see that Justin and the team at UHL were frustrated and needed a better solution to allow them to take control of the project.

At the same time Trustmarque, with its experience of Microsoft Teams’ deployments, document management solutions, SharePoint modern intranet, and modern workplace collaboration across Azure and Office 365, took an opportunity to work closely with Gero and his team alongside UHL to tightly integrate several Office 365 tools with the Power Framework solution.

This approach to integration meant team members were able to use the Power Framework application alongside familiar applications such as Teams, SharePoint, OneNote, and Project for the Web. This would allow the PMO team members would work on their portfolios, programmes and projects collaboratively and without worrying where their documents were being stored or where they would manage their tasks.

Trustmarque envisioned Microsoft Teams being central to the collaborative way of working with the Power Framework solution. On creation of a project within Power Framework with all the required information, we used a subset of this information for the automation and creation of a Teams’ channel and its configuration.

Utilising the Microsoft Graph (Microsoft’s M365 API) and Power Automate a set of workflow actions were built out. These would include:


About the customer

Uhl Logo

University Hospital Leicester is one of the biggest and busiest NHS Trusts in England, serving the one million residents of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland – and increasingly specialist services over a much wider area. They employ over 15,000 members of staff.

Spotlight on Power Platform

The Power Platform provides a range of integrated tools that can be used to build enterprise applications, rapidly. As a capability of an organisation’s very own Microsoft cloud environment, it can unlock the potential of Microsoft applications. It helps easily manipulate, surface, automate, and analyse data.

Built in the Power Platform, the Power Framework solution offers limitless potential for customisation and extension and can be delivered quickly and cost effectively.

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  • Teams creation – A Microsoft team created based on project name
  • Teams settings configuration such as member and guest settings
  • Team Members of the project added as owners and members in Teams
  • Teams channel creation to allow collaboration of specific aspects of a project
  • Additional Teams tabs created and configured against multiple channels


  • Creation of planner for project management
  • Adding of planner to a channel tab
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  • Configuration of associated SharePoint Site that is created when team is created
  • Apply site templates with PMO document libraries and document templates
  • Apply branding and navigation components to project and programme sites.
  • Creation of programme site if not present for project and associate it
  • Add team members to associated project and programme sites

Following this, we use information such as the SharePoint site address and Teams’ information and update the project back in Power Framework allowing team members to easily move between the Power Framework solution and the Office 365 applications they need.

Having already match-made various projects with the team at Program Framework, Leigh-Anne knew that they could demonstrate how to increase project alignment, enhance team collaboration, engage stakeholders and increase process maturity with their Power Framework solution built in the Microsoft Power Platform. Program Framework engaged with UHL stakeholders through a series of demos which quickly confirmed that the solution would be a great fit.

Program Framework’s director Gero Renker explains:

“We work with customers across many sectors and they all have the same problem as Justin did – disconnected content. We hear time and time again of teams wading through lots of Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint decks, files sitting in all sorts of places. This makes it an impossible task for PMO teams to garner the information they need, when they need it most.”

Gero Renker, Director, Program Framework

The solution implementation itself was achieved rapidly through a series of workshops and an agile approach to configuring the tool. Many of the built-in data sets and associated template reports were modified to match UHL terminology and reporting needs.

All data is stored in Dataverse, the database of the Power Platform securely located in the organisation’s own Microsoft cloud tenant. In combination with Power Apps and Power BI it enabled the flexibility and speed of the implementation.

The Benefits

Evidently, Justin is confident about the benefits of Power Framework. Harnessing live data available 24/7, UHL’s PMO team are breaking the mould:

“We’ve finally got our staff moving away from Excel. A wide variety or programme and project data sets, as well as minutes, agendas and programme papers are a click away in Power Framework and connected SharePoint repositories. Life without it would be like going back to using chalk on a blackboard in 2022.”

Justin Hammond, Head of the Reconfiguration Program Management Office for University Hospitals of Leicester

Team members can now discuss the documents they are working on for a project, they can easily share and co-author content and uphold a single source of the truth with less reliance on email, less reliance on central IT with document version history and without the need to manage files on file shares.

Document templates ensure team members are working with the latest versions, and these are classified with metadata to allow documents to searchable.

SharePoint document management gives them immediate benefits. For future endeavours Justin and his Team can work closely with UHL information governance and compliance and Trustmarque around document lifecycle ensuring project document meet regulatory compliance.

Planner tasks and buckets can be managed, single point of failures are eradicated as tasks can easily be reassigned and due dates and important milestones kept in check.

Not only has the readiness of data and reporting helped keep the programme on track, but it has also dramatically reduced the time spent in meetings:

“Power Framework has changed the dialogue. We reviewed 15 risks in two hours using live Power BI dashboards, previously we may have got through five if we were lucky as there were so many people involved. The instant availability of information is changing our culture in ways we couldn’t have imagined when we sat down with Program Framework to craft the first design.”

Justin Hammond, Head of the Reconfiguration Program Management Office for University Hospitals of Leicester

Justin and his team have by no means exhausted all the features provided by Power Framework out of the box and will be gearing up to unlock back-burner functionality. But for now, they’re pacing themselves to ensure they can adapt to these new ways of working and make the most of what’s available right now.

Justin adds, “This is what digital transformation is. We have better productivity, control, audit and assurance. We recently met with the New Hospital Programme and we are now known as the programme with the really funky digital PMO.”

Trust CIO Andy Carruthers added

“Our ambitions for Leicester’s hospitals place usability of digital solutions at the heart of our strategy. The Power Framework solution is a great example of technology rapidly adapting to meet our needs, introducing significant benefits very quickly and leveraging our investment in the M365 platform. We are keen to extend it to other areas of the organisation and gain further economies of scale.”

Andy Carruthers, Chief Information Officer, University Hospitals Leicester

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