The Christie

How can product thinking help improve a patients experience of their cancer treatment?


Our bespoke service design approach has offered Europe’s largest cancer centre an innovative solution to improve the efficiency of the hundreds of cancer trials it carries out each year.

The Christie
Key stats


who trialled the service would use the system again


said it system saved nurse’s time


appreciated being part of a trackable system


Service Design Approach

We were asked to create an app for an NHS Foundation Trust. As Europe’s largest cancer centre, the Trust houses the largest single-site early phase clinical trials centre in the world with up to 400 trials taking place at any one time. They were looking for a solution to facilitate communication with patients undergoing treatment, to increase data analysis and to remove paper records. After an initial exploratory phase that involved Code’s team mapping the customer journey and carrying out in-depth patient / staff interviews, Code soon recognised that an app was not the best platform to meet the needs of the Trust’s audience and clinicians. A triggered SMS system was identified as a much simpler, more audience appropriate solution supported by a customisable and user friendly CRM platform.


Test and Learn

Using a Kanban style performance dashboard, all patient and production data is captured in a single view display and meaningful data can be mined and analysed in greater detail within the CRM platform. Clinical staff are able to see in real time where each patient is up to within the cycle and the automated notification process eliminates the need for staff to personally update patients on timings and locations, reducing pressure on staff and manual errors. With the SMS system, patients are kept totally up to date with regular text messages at every step of the treatment process. One benefit of this is that patients are able to go off site during the drug production process, or can book into a well-being class or service offered within the centre to help to alleviate stress and anxiety. Many patients travel long distances for treatment and feel anxious about their experience.



Not only has the system given the Trust a reliable option to operate a paperless process, automated data processing enables lab staff to better manage the stages of the manufacture process, reduce cycle times and make informed predictions based on trends. Comparisons can be made on days of the week, times of day and type of medication, and delays can be categorized with data to implement strategic changes to how the department operates. Patients reported feeling that it helped them feel more in control of their day. Enquiries to staff on the days of the trials also decreased, as patients were served with all information via the SMS service.