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Building complex, digital customer journeys to help the NHS recruit our healthcare heroes


Health Education England (HEE) exists to support the NHS with the recruitment and training of staff. While the NHS is delivering high-quality care and improving the health and well-being of people, HEE is busy inspiring individuals across the country into a career in the NHS.

With such a vital role in our healthcare system, HEE engaged DCX to help transform their management of data and improve their communications.

HEE produce a range of email journeys and programmes covering a breadth of roles and courses for nurses, specialist roles like paramedic or physiotherapy, and even encouraging previous NHS staff to return after a career break. This means a range of data sources to be processed and analysed.

HEE’s existing data management process meant that they would receive data separately from a range of different sources, all of which were disparate and siloed. Reports were in the form of linear Excel spreadsheets, and marketing communications were delivered through SQL scripts and API connections to the ESP – with lengthy code that was difficult to put through a QA process in a timely manner.



We built a bespoke single customer view (SCV) to collate, store, and maintain all HEE’s marketing data, pulling together a range of sources using various data collection methods. This single customer view has allowed HEE to better understand their registered users and enable them to send targeted email communications to drive action.

The challenge was how to use this data efficiently, and how to provide near real-time visual displays of both the contact data and the engagement figures from each campaign.

To combat this, we brought the registration data into Apteco FastStats to allow HEE to: 

  • View a single version of truth for each individual record as opposed to different versions across various databases
  • Access user information more freely
  • Understand who has shown interest in multiple career areas within the NHS
  • View up-to-date information, refreshed daily

HEE has made use of a series of Apteco Orbit dashboards to display registration data in a way that is more visual, accessible, and easy to understand. The Apteco FastStats homepage dashboard immediately shows HEE their current registration volumes, meaning that anyone in the organisation can quickly find the number of registrations available to contact for any given career or area of interest.

Prior to adopting the Apteco suite, HEE also executed their marketing communications through SQL scripts and API connections to the ESP. Due to the complexity of the marketing journeys, and the level of personalisation needed, the code was extremely long and difficult to put through a QA process in a timely manner.

Most of HEE’s marketing journeys contained one or more of the following:

  • Specific rules for entry and journey route depending on when someone registers
  • Dynamic content based on information provided during the registration process
  • Behavioural triggers in which people receive the emails in the journey depending on what they click in a specific email
  • Elements of a journey that are skipped or fast-tracked depending on how much content the registrant requested upon sign-up
  • Rules for complete stop of a journey
  • Rules to move from one journey to another if a person clicks on specific content within a journey

This level of complexity compounded the need to move away from a SQL coding approach to journey building. The Apteco PeopleStage modular and template-able approach to journey building made implementing this level of complexity far easier.

Using the response gatherer, HEE is able to react quickly to interactions with campaigns and gauge which content is driving the most engagement. 


reduction in database latency


reduction in report build times and costs


reduction in campaign development effort and cost


DCX has worked with HEE to transform their use of data and radically improve their communications, to help them continue to recruit our next batch of healthcare heroes – all thanks to Apteco.

As well as a new single customer view, HEE now has valuable dashboards to help them understand and size a potential audience for marketing campaigns and also for quick access to performance reports from previous campaigns. Migrating marketing campaign journeys to PeopleStage has saved HEE a huge number of man-hours in developing each campaign journey.

We’ve helped HEE to:

  • Build a bespoke single customer view (SCV) to collate, store and maintain all data
  • Understand who has shown interest in multiple career areas within the NHS
  • Drastically reduce the amount of time needed to build a complete customer communications journey
  • Deliver highly targeted email communications
  • Speed up the creation of reports to aid decision-making
  • Reduce database latency by 86%
  • Reduce campaign development effort and cost by up to 33% (originally forecasted at 25%)
  • Reduce report build times and cost by 90%

Do Data. Better.