Helping citizens help themselves

pearl-roberts-agilisysPearl Roberts, Agilisys Care Lead & Client Development Director, is responsible for Agilisys Care; she is leading on using innovation and talent across Agilisys and partners to create a digital social care experience which offers citizens greater choice and control, enables local authority clients to work across traditional boundaries and helps to deliver greater efficiencies and reduce costs.

In this guest post, Pearl explains how the Agilisys Care platform has helped people understand their health needs and how they may find support for those needs.

Last week’s NHS Self Care Week acted as a great platform for helping people become more knowledgeable about the health and lifestyle options available to them to help them with their own health and wellbeing.

We were pleased to be able to talk about some of the practical examples and technology-enabled developments we are using with our local authority clients to support this agenda and empower people to embrace a new culture of care.

The Older People’s Care Survey, conducted by the Family and Childcare Trust and published yesterday, in addition to drawing attention to the lack of care facilities to meet the needs of older people also revealed a lack of information for families looking to find their own care. We discussed the importance of providing timely information and advice in the NHS Self Care newsletter last week.

In this blog, we consider how alongside providing good information and advice, Agilisys Care has applied citizen-centric design to help people to understand their needs and find the right types of help to meet those needs.

Agilisys Care has applied digital technology to the process of enabling citizens to be supported in understanding their needs, requirements and outcomes. We have looked to move away from the plethora of forms, documents and templates that traditionally characterise this process and which people may be asked to complete many times.

Our Adults, Children’s, Carer and Occupational Therapy assessment tools have been designed in partnership with local authorities. They provide readily accessible, visual and structured online customer journeys that support people through the process. The resulting customer journeys are tailored to an individual’s needs and goals and then connect them to relevant interventions either through community support networks or other resources and services available via an e-marketplace (see here where Peter Hay, Director for People, Birmingham City Council’s experience using these tools alongside an e-marketplace to transform the way that social care is being delivered).

What’s more, the digital tools we use do not discriminate against those people who are unable or unwilling to use technology and digital tools – they can be readily used by family, friends and carers so that they can help the people they are looking after choose the most appropriate support to meet their needs. We know from experience that these digital tools are also able to deliver a more user-friendly and less stressful experience.

The same tools are also used by social work practitioners, meaning that all those involved are looking at the same information, data and needs assessments and in so doing, removing duplication, promoting consistency, streamlining the process and helping councils to better manage the increased demand on their services.

For example, we worked in partnership with Swindon Borough Council to manage increasing local demand for care support while also improving engagement and outcomes for people by providing more joined up and coordinated ways of interacting. We implemented online Needs & Goals Assessment tools which are providing accurate and consistent care assessments, meeting the statutory requirements of the Care Act and helping the council to manage demand, on average 30%.

Alongside the ‘My Care, My Support’ portal, providing click-in advice, citizens can independently choose the most appropriate forms of support from a range of organisations, demand for Council support is being managed and the council is saving money.

The effective use of such digital tools enables citizens to be supported to access appropriate personalised information and advice at the right time, it provides a better customer experience and better outcomes through personalised care plans. It also supports councils to manage demand and save money.

For more information about Agilisys Care, visit the website.

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