Adult Social Services Digital Care & Support Assessment
A collaborative project to co-design and develop a Digital Approach to Care & Support Assessments.
The Care Act introduced additional pressures on already stretched Adult Social Care (ASC) services. With increasing volumes, an ageing population and in light of COVID-19 challenges, this vital service is under strain and will struggle if left unchanged.
One positive outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has accelerated public sector ambitions and engagement with digital approaches. Each of the six councils engaged in this project are keen to help co-design and develop a more effective self-service, digital approach to support service users, occupational therapists, service leads and all those involved in the care and support assessment (CSA) process.
Led by public sector experts and innovative technology designers/developers Looking Local, this project will deliver a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for a digital self-service & assisted self-service approach to the CSA process.
- Scripts for all 10 areas of the Care Act and corresponding animations
- A framework workflow to house the video animations and enable data capture
- Person-centred digital triage designed around the animations
- User-focused delivery of the needs assessment to determine the package of care required
- Consideration around integration requirements with back office ASC systems
DISCOVERY PHASE (2018)
The discovery phase – undertaken by Looking Local in collaboration with Stockton Council, Kent County Council and Nottinghamshire County Council – worked through the ‘as-is’ process and the different approaches that councils take to the CSA assessments (three conversations, more traditional Care Act led and strengths based), the use cases for a digital approach and uncovered the varied benefits that a digital solution could deliver.
A discovery report is available on request.
CO-DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT PHASE (2020)
The current collaborative project – again led by Looking Local – has now begun with social care experts steering the design of the solution. With a project initiation workshop hosted in June 2020 attended by ASC service heads, occupational therapists, digital transformation experts, social workers, service leads and service improvement managers, work has now begun to deliver the digital platform and animated assessment approach.
The solution will take users through a rich audio visual triage experience to determine what their care and support needs are, whilst retaining the appropriate level of expert/staff intervention. As such the final product will be appropriate for use out in the field by social workers, as well as a tool for self-service.
Development will be agile and is user-centred. Guided by the six councils, we anticipate a range of features including advocacy use to allow family/friends/staff to support people with their application and offline features to support staff during home visits where no connectivity is available.
HEADLINE BUSINESS CASE
Many councils we have spoken with are assessing digital tools to support the delivery of adult social care. Looking Local has already tackled the Financial Assessment side of this equation in their BetterCare product, and proven that up to 80% of this audience are capable of self-serving digitally.
The cost of delivering home visits are expensive and unsustainable, and in a (post-) COVID-19 world are, and will continue to be, challenging. Figures from councils we have spoken with show figures in excess of £100 per visit.
This project and the end solution offer the potential of significant savings, but they need to be considered against a user base which includes a significant proportion of vulnerable people, as such there is no room to get it wrong. Self-service care and support assessments aren’t without their challenges. We acknowledge that safeguarding concerns exist, and these will be addressed directly within the project and the resulting product.
Alongside development work a business case and commercial model will be developed with the collaborating councils.