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NDL Awarded ‘Partnership Excellence’ at iNetwork Innovation Awards – successful collaboration to create Wigan Council’s Paperless Testing Project

Successful collaboration to create Wigan Council’s Paperless Testing Project 

Public sector software specialist, NDL, has won an award following a nomination from Wigan Council, celebrating the support NDL provided throughout the council’s ‘COVID-19: Local Test Booking, Administration and Reporting’ project in 2020. The digitised solution was the first of its kind in the UK, allowing the local authority to provide easy access to COVID-19 testing to its residents at the height of the pandemic.

Receiving the Partnership Excellence Award at the iNetwork Innovation Awards 2021 (postponed until May 2022 due to the pandemic) NDL was recognised for its work in supporting the delivery of Wigan Council’s innovative digital solution – aiding the creation of a responsive booking system created with NDL’s eForm platform.



The project commenced at the beginning of 2020, when Wigan Council was tasked to set up a pilot scheme to provide COVID-19 PCR testing for its 300,000+ residents within just 5 days. Each swab needed to be tested and processed by a private lab within 24 hours of testing, before each resident was then informed of their results. However, with limited time constraints to create a public test booking and back-office administration system, this presented multiple challenges.



The original booking system was an interim, “quick fix” product – but as the pandemic evolved and the need for testing increased, it was clear an end-to-end digital solution was required to support both residents and council workers. In line with the project, Public Health England and the Department of Health requirements, easy-to-use, secure and fully integrated booking eForms were created in collaboration with NDL. This facilitated the distribution of tests across the allocated centres on a weekly basis, whilst monitoring developments within the booking system.


NDL assisted in developing the first successful pilot scheme in England – enabling Wigan Council to successfully control and track the spread of COVID-19 within the local area. Out of the 10 testing pilots in England, Wigan was the only local authority able to find a suitable end -to-end digital solution.


The streamlined approach provided easy access to data for local reporting, allowing mobile testing to be deployed at surge sites. It also provided a faster and more efficient service to residents, whilst ensuring the demographic and medical data was secured in line with GDPR regulations. All of NDL’s process mapping and documentation were communicated through the Department of Health and Public Health England as part of the pilot scheme. Subsequently, the National lateral flow testing programme followed a similar process to NDL’s solution.


The efficiency of the COVID-19 test booking system improved both employee morale and service whilst providing a better and more convenient experience for local residents.  It also delivered sufficient local data to help identify COVID-19 hotspots and testing both within and around Wigan.


With NDL and Wigan Council working collaboratively, they were able to draw from their individual skill sets and areas of expertise and manage the project step-by-step in order to source a resolution far more quickly than with a traditional waterfall approach.


Tom Wright, Head of Digital Engagement at NDL said: “It is a true honour to have received an award for Partnership Excellence at the iNetwork Innovation Awards. We are extremely grateful to be nominated by Wigan Council and proud to have been able to help support them during this difficult time. It is our privilege to work closely with teams that are designing and delivering technology-led solutions to tackle some of the biggest administrative challenges we have ever faced in our lifetimes.”


The iNetwork Innovation Awards 2021 have successfully celebrated the projects and teams which have delivered transformation and excellence in public service delivery. The awards have highlighted outstanding projects across the sector and celebrate the brilliance and dedication of the public workforce, and their partners, as they strive to deliver more effective, and better value services for their communities.

For more information about this award-winning project visit or contact

About NDL:

NDL is a UK SME software company developing transformational technologies with social purpose. Its suite of digital and RPA solutions has been specifically designed for the public sector, for the public good- enabling better design and delivery of services as well as better patient care within the NHS.

For nearly 40 years, NDL has worked closely with a growing community of NHS Trusts and public sector customers, sharing best practice, innovation, and templates so that similar challenges being faced across the country can be overcome more easily.

Aiding digital transformation and compatible with all vendor software and legacy infrastructure, its technology is designed to provide immediate and long-term benefits. The product suite includes eforms, mobile apps, and robotic process automation, which help organisations to better engage with the public, seamlessly integrate teams in the field, and ensure information is available where and when it is needed for more informed and quicker decision making. In doing so, its technology helps to reduce the burden of admin, enabling teams to achieve significant savings in time and money and helping the public access the services they need.