Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has reported improved productivity, reduced complaints and significant savings following its decision to bring its IT helpdesk in house.

The southern coast trust implemented cloud-based software Freshservice on 31 October last year, and 91% of calls to IT support are now resolved on first contact while complaints have dropped to an average of two per month.

Grant Harris, head of IT operations at the trust, said the “amazing benefit is how the users have taken to it”.

Self-service usage has improved from 10% to 49%, and end users now wait an average of 16 seconds as opposed to 16 minutes for someone to pick up their ticket.

“If you’re a clinician waiting to get through to the help desk and you’re sitting with a patient [and] you can’t access something, that’s made a huge difference to their lives, it really has”.

Harris said that over the next five years the trust expects to save hundreds of thousands of pounds by bringing the helpdesk in house.

He added there was an “overnight transformation” with customer satisfaction rating for IT support going from 58% to the mid nineties in the first week.

The new service desk had to be implemented within three months, but it went “extremely smoothly”, he said.

Previously Western Sussex was part of a shared NHS service provided by the local commissioning support unit.

Simon Johnson, UK general manager at Freshdesk, said: “Any time spent waiting for IT support and service in a clinical environment is time when patient care can be held up”.

“Using cloud-based service management, the IT team at Western Sussex has improved service levels and reduced cost. As a side benefit, the IT team at the trust has seen improvements in how its services are perceived in general, making it easier to collaborate around other IT projects in future.”

The project was recently recognised with an award for best implementation of an IT service management solution, which Grant described in a statement as “a real highlight of my career after 21 years in IT management”.

Western Sussex runs three hospitals across the county serving a population of 450,000 people.