Wagtail Chosen as New NHS Online Services CMS

Wagtail Chosen as New NHS Online Services CMS

Wagtail Chosen as New NHS Online Services CMS

The NHS have revealed today – 12th September 2017 that they have chosen the Wagtail content management system for their new online services platform. In an overhaul of their services at their www.nhs.uk, the digital team at the NHS were looking for an open source content management system, which the Wagtail system seemed to fit.

NHS Online Services Requirements

The NHS online services requirements are rather specific to them, but they were looking for a content management system that is flexible, affordable and scalable, as well as needing to be able to withstand about 45 million visits every month. There were other important factors to be taken into account as well, such as how to display sensitive images and how to manage and link large amounts of information and patient data.

These are important factors which could not be compromised and were central in making the decision of which CMS to choose to fit their needs.

Another important factor was the experience for those who are editing the data that is within the system. The NHS has a large team of product managers and content editors, as well as the need for complicated signing off procedures and important information that needs to be accurately inputted and updated, meaning that this is an essential part of the decision-making process in choosing a CMS.


Wagtail was designed by the digital agency, Torchbox, originally as a bespoke system for the Royal College of Art, and has since been adapted to be used by Macmillan, Oxfam, Google and Nasa. It was built on the Django framework and has been praised for its elegance and usability.  

The Wagtail system is already being used by a number of organisations both in the UK and worldwide in the area of healthcare, and according to the NHS`s Head of Technology Delivery, Andy Callow, one of the key factors for a successful transformation of the NHS’s website is the CMS we will be using. We took several options in consideration, and after detailed evaluation we concluded that the Wagtail was a perfect fit for our needs. The thing that really tipped the scale was a very active and very communicative community, and we will be only adding to this segment with our choice.

With the new Wagtail CMS, the NHS online services have a chance to improve experiences for both staff and patients taking the NHS into the future.

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