ASC: Digital Care Needs Assessment
This collaborative project involving Kent County Council, Stockton on Tees Borough Council and Nottinghamshire County Council working with Looking Local, brought together a group of ASC service heads to undertake a piece of collective analysis and develop a prototype to begin to digitise a self-service care needs assessment.
Following a scoping workshop, Looking Local spent a number of days on site with each of the collaborating councils to understand the local process and delivery mechanisms. This included a number of user engagement workshops with first point of contact staff, triage, social workers, occupational therapists, financial assessment officers and end service users.
The primary focus of the initial analysis work within this discovery phase was to:
- Identify the needs of users: both staff and service users
- Be aware of the target demographic and their levels of IT literacy
- Understand the current processes, identify pinch points and potential challenges
- Look at how best to deliver relevant information to the user
- Understand if and how signposting into a directory of local services/support and information could help
- How the ‘indicative budget’ fits into the process and how/where it is displayed
- Establish a business case to proceed.
As part of the discovery phase we used established gov.uk design principles to build a prototype.
The prototype can be seen on request.
PROJECT LEARNING OUTCOMES
- Our target audiences welcomed a digital process, the service improvements to the assessment and the idea of self-service more widely:
- Around 40% of customers felt they would be able to self-serve
- 30% would be able to self-serve with some assistance from family/friends/staff
- 30% felt they wouldn’t be appropriate for/willing to self-serve.
- Staff were open to the idea of customers self-serving in terms of their care needs assessment, provided that mechanisms to assure safeguarding measures were in place;
- Staff including occupational therapists and social workers would welcome a more mobile option for delivering home assessments to the remaining 30% of users not suitable for self-service;
- Staff would welcome better triaging towards information, advice and guidance for customers not eligible for support from the council;
- The current process for referrals relies on a service user (or their carer/family etc) being available to talk during normal office hours, council staff often struggle to get hold of people and so a self-serve tool that could be accessed by the service user 24/7 would be a useful tool and potentially reduce the number of dropouts.
The discovery phase also surfaced a range of additional needs, uses and challenges surrounding the ASC CNA process and the differences that exist between councils:
- This product would also lend itself well to a triage tool for customers thinking of approaching the council for support. It would give them an indication of what type of support they might need, if they meet the council’s criteria and if they don’t then it could tell them where they can get the help/information they need.
- The subtleties around the rules for calculating the ‘indicative budget’, specifically how they vary from local authority to local authority. As such an alpha would build on the work of the prototype to allow for the ‘dials to be tuned’ towards each organisation’s local rule base, ensuring that the solution is tailored for each partner authority.
- Organisations bring their own approach and solutions to the local directory element of the service. The alpha will allow each organisation to make a decision about what directory product/approach they want to use to present services, advice and information which is tailored to the end users needs.
- The mechanisms for delivering the assessments into each council. Some will have the need for integration and others will prefer standalone option.
- The different business processes currently in place will require the product to be flexible in its deployment.
We have interest from a number of councils to take this discovery work to an alpha phase.
An initial scope and brief has been developed – directed by interested councils – to build from the discovery phase to develop a fully scalable, robust product that can be customised at a local level for deployment within other local authorities.
If you would like to access the prototype, feed into the scope or be involved in the next phase, please get in touch.