Oxford Brookes University

Case Study

In 2010, PEMS was born through a collaborative project between Oxinet and Oxford Brookes University.

The Challenge

Each year, Oxford Brookes University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences manages over 5,000 placements for 2,000 students, operating 12 separate programmes over three Strategic Health Authority contracts. The administration of student placements was routinely hampered by obsolete manual and paper-based systems obstructing the management and reporting of student placement activity. The processes were labour-intensive and prone to clerical error; reporting delays were endemic and contact data was poorly managed, meaning that the public – and the University – were potentially at risk. After a thorough search, Oxford Brookes University saw that “off-the-shelf” products were not going to fulfil their highly specific needs.

The Solution: PEMS

The Oxford Brookes Placements Team developed a specification and went to European tender to find a solution provider. The winner was Oxinet, and we won in large part thanks to our commitment to thoroughly researching and developing a flexible, purpose-built solution. Oxinet and the University began by mapping all the activities, information flows and stakeholders involved in the placement process. Together they produced a prioritised requirement list and commenced development using an agile methodology to ensure that the most crucial functions were delivered first.
The solution was then developed in stages:

⇒ The first; to ensure that the University could handle the essential checks and tests required to be undertaken by students in order for them to be deemed “safe” prior to placement.  The “Fitness to Practice” process was built and went live in September 2010.

⇒ The second; to create a robust placement handling and allocation function, went live in 2011.

PEMS’ functionality encompasses the whole placement process, enabling the administration team to deal with each placement in its entirety – from entering offers through to reporting – with just a few mouse clicks. Placement providers, too, have found their feedback and monitoring tasks simplified.

The Outcome

Collaborative working with the University has been strengthened, processes are robustly supported and PEMS is now the central channel for online student placement evaluation. Since Oxford Brookes University installed PEMS, it has become a key part of their Practice Education Unit (PEU), and estimated saving them in equivalent costs £84,000 in the first year. It has also allowed them to expand the number of students and programmes supported by PEU which would not have been achievable without an increase in staffing. PEMS is now the central channel for ensuring compliance with both preparation for practice and online student placement evaluation.

The University balanced the cost of the initial investment against the potential penalty cost of not implementing a system.

With staffing costs on the rise and increasing student commissioned numbers, against a backdrop of increasing complexity of placement quality and capacity in health and social care service provision –not to mention the cost of any potential litigation due to poorly-recorded compliance– PEMS made obvious financial sense.

 We found Oxinet to be innovative and ‘Agile minded’ in their solution orientated approach to achieving collaborative goals in product development and implementation. They are a team of inspired creative thinkers and working with them as technical partner on our project was most enjoyable and productive”

Netta Lloyd-Jones – Head of Practice Education, Oxford Brookes University

Through active participation in the PEMS User Group, Oxford Brookes University alongside our other PEMS customers, continue to collaborate with Oxinet to develop and improve PEMS; future-proofing the system to make sure it remains fit for an evolving sector.

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oxinetCase Study: Oxford Brookes University and PEMS