Are local authorities ready to use digital solutions to enhance social care?

As the delivery of social care in the UK continues to make headlines, Pearl Roberts, client development director and Agilisys Care lead has asked how ready local authorities are to adopt digital solutions that will give citizens the choice and control they need to manage their own care.

Writing in a blog post, Roberts said: “For some time local authorities have recognised the benefits of enabling citizens to access services online. Not only are there efficiency gains to be realised, but with more of us than ever before choosing to go online first, there is a demographic shift driving demand for ‘always-on’ public services.

“The potential to improve outcomes by putting the citizen at the heart of how such services are designed is significant; this is especially so in the area of health and social care.”

Engaging

Discussing what’s required to deliver this transformation, Roberts goes on to say that digital care channels and tools should engage people, be easy to use and support person-to-person services, as well as fully integrating into a whole system of care delivery.

“Designing such services starts by “standing in the user’s shoes” and focusing on citizen needs rather than the needs of the system,” added Roberts.

“One of the most critical things to get right is helping people to navigate what can be highly complex health and social care systems.

“By consulting with users to iteratively design and refine processes, forward thinking local authorities allow people to understand, fulfil and manage their care needs in easy to use, visually engaging formats. In turn this helps local authorities manage and focus scarce resources on supporting the most vulnerable citizens, who are often less able to make good, healthy, independent decisions.”

Roberts concluded by saying: “The effective use of digital technology enables citizens, whether they are supported by the state or not, to access appropriate information and advice at the right time.

“It reduces complexity, improves self-help and delivers a better customer experience.

“Most importantly it provides real choices to real people, building their knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver the outcomes they want through managing their own health and wellbeing.”

To read the post in full click here.

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