Case Study:
NHS Blood and Transplant

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has been responsible for NHS organ donation in the UK and blood donation in England since 2005. The goal of the NHSBT is to save and improve lives, and its key measures are defined through patient outcomes and effective resourcing. What really sets NHSBT apart is their renowned clinical expertise, world-class research and innovation.


NHSBT had previously implemented ServiceNow to support more than 5,000 staff based across the UK, this resulted in a more consolidated and effective HR and IT system. Before using ServiceNow, NHSBT were using a Service Desk specific tool that was not suitable for business areas such as HR and Finance, who remained heavily reliant on manual processes and simple tools such as Excel and email. With ServiceNow, staff were able to access information faster, automate processes and take more of a self-service approach. This results in faster and more effective support for clinical and non-clinical staff across the organization.

However, having moved to the ServiceNow platform, NHSBT realized that it required extra help to maximize the potential benefits. More recently this was focused on a requirement to upgrade to the latest version of ServiceNow. Upgrading would enable the latest enhancements to be used, driving value from their investment, as well as ensuring their ServiceNow environment would remain fully supported.

Historically, one of their main challenges had been to internally resource ServiceNow specialists and faced with the demands of an upgrade they quickly found the need to bring in external ServiceNow expertise. They wanted an experienced ServiceNow partner to consult, make recommendations and help implement.

For NHS Blood and Transplant, the upgrade to the latest version of ServiceNow was absolutely critical. But we lacked the internal ServiceNow expertise necessary for such an undertaking. Engage ESM brought the thought-leadership as well as passion and commitment needed to make a real success of the upgrade project.

Wendy Dewey, IT Service Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant


The requirement was to consult with NHSBT on upgrading their ServiceNow environment, including the provision of dedicated support and consultants as required. Through an initial upgrade consultation, Engage ESM helped secure buy-in and involvement from key business stakeholders at NHSBT.


Having gained an initial understanding of the technical challenges and the desired business outcomes, Engage ESM made recommendations and provided:

  • Leadership sessions that provided guidance on upgrade best-practice frameworks and methodologies
  • Strategic guidance that helped inform and transform their upgrade approach
  • Comprehensive upgrade support that helped admins and testers from NHSBT adopt new ways of working, including a new and improved approach to the testing process
  • Dedicated consultants and resources for the duration of the ServiceNow upgrade

Engage ESM provided the advice and guidance required to help change mindsets within NHSBT and remove preconceptions that an upgrade might result in unexpected complications. Following Engage ESM’s new approach to the full testing and upgrade process, the upgrade was completed within the agreed schedule, with minimum defects reported. A key benefit was the reduction in testing time; in previous upgrades this took 12 weeks, and the team helped reduce this to just 3 weeks. 


NHSBT now have ServiceNow on a supported instance and have the reassurance that future upgrades and changes to their environment will be supported and implemented correctly. Through the ongoing relationship between NHSBT and Engage ESM, buy-in for ServiceNow has improved across the organization and there is now a defined process in place for future ServiceNow releases.