Council-led Co-Design of Automated Telephony and App Services

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This collaborative project will deliver a personalised automated telephony solution to people within your community who are in need of additional support due to isolation or vulnerability. Automated telephony was used by a small number of councils in the first wave of Covid to effectively support people who were shielding, enabling councils to prioritise resources based on need. 

Working with a technical partner, Voicescape, we brought together a group of councils to define those people and services that would benefit most from an automated contact approach. To then co-design the scripts and questions and deploy automated telephone/app support in a matter of weeks.

With the ability to manage thousands of calls per day and provide a detailed dashboard to guide councils as to where to prioritise support, this project sought not only to co-design, build and deploy the technology swiftly, but prove the business case for a blended automation and personal support approach, focused specifically on people most in need. 


Three local authorities for a two month co-design project.

Resource requirements from each partner was no more than two hours every two weeks for two months from project initiation. We looked for subject matter expertise from appropriate teams, plus engagement of communications colleagues.



£10,000 per partner (plus VAT)

This includes:

  • Service identification and scripting
  • Building of the logic models and telephone/app triage systems
  • Refinement of the analytics platform to meet local government/service requirements
  • 75,000 completed interactions* (CI) to be used as quickly as the partner needs (up to one year)
  • Access to the analytics platform for up to 12 months or until CI quota is used
  • Business case and metrics research leading to agreed commercial model

*A completed interaction is up to 4 calls or 2 SMS messages to an identified person or household to ensure questionnaire completion – ie, should the person not respond or be available on the first attempt the system will try another 3 times via telephone and once more via SMS to drive compilation of the survey.

People/households this project could support (total of 75,000 calls/CIs based one call/CI per week**) :

  • 1,442 people/households over 12 Months
  • 1,875 people/households over 9 Months
  • 2,885 people/households over 6 Months
  • 5,770 people/households over 3 Months
  • 18,750 people/households over 1 Month

**frequency can be more or less than this – rate will be determined by each partner.


This project worked with partners not only to build and deploy automated telephony for the appropriate priority services, but also to validate the business case, ROI and savings for local authorities as well as uncovering the frontline staff and end user benefits. We are clear that the comparative costs for undertaking this work with a traditional call centre are much higher and take considerably longer to deliver, this was modelled as part of the project.


Key Stages of the Project: 

  • Workshop to outline approach, overview current system, identify and prioritise appropriate services 
  • Co-design of agreed pathway/s (maximum two pathways as part of this project)
  • Build of pathways and conditional logic (for both telephony and app) 
  • Prototyping
  • Deployment of technology with each partner, setting up of alert protocols, live monitoring and system training
  • Business case and metrics research leading to agreed commercial model



An innovative automated telephony solution, created off the back of this collaboration is now available. More information on Contact&Connect and it’s associated benefits can be found by following the button below.