North East Lincolnshire Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Invited to apply

Communication and reducing missed appointments is a key problem for all public services and especially councils. We do not have a clear understanding of customer channel preference for contact to support their attendance
We have developed a prototype to support the Contact Supervision service to integrate with outlook using GovNotify to deliver preferred channel notifications. Part of our discovery looked at the problems and challenges for parents separated from their children which included the trauma and stress and how this leads to a high number of no shows and late cancellations.
Nationally the growth in numbers of looked after children mean this is a national priority and where services have not been invested in, these are now dysfunctional and unable to meet the demand.
In NELC we have arranged 1,159 contacts from January to March 2018 and 28% were cancelled including cancellations and no shows. Currently this means letters for all contacts and follow ups which are costly and time consuming to administer.
This is an impactful and costly problem for all councils and we want to collaborate with other councils to scale out our alpha to replicate the service pattern across multiple services for multiple councils

Discovery evidence

We conducted an extended discovery over 20 weeks to understand the trauma in the contact supervision service and the problems that the service encounter in functioning effectively.
A key finding was the effective control of bookings and communications with parents to confirm appointments and how we could receive feedback was very challenging.
Contacts are costly and no shows currently cost the service £70.00 for each missed contact which in the last year was at total of 30% of the contacts arranged per year.
Discovery revealed that lack of feedback or a channel for it is a contributory factor to lack of parental engagement.
Our challenge is to fix key inefficiencies in the service to enable it to meet the demand given the increase in numbers of looked after children i.e.’fix the plumbing’
We utilise mail only as the medium to confirm all appointments and follow up for no shows.
Engagement showed that parent’s preference for communication was entirely for texting and not representative as to how the service currently works.
There is no automation and shared calendars for bookings and the venues are poor and do not support quality contacts.

  • Digital and agile awareness
  • Introduction to service design
  • Introduction to product management
  • Agile for teams

Other training requests

It is important that all collaborators have a common language and approach. We have adopted agile delivery principles and have adapted to meet the needs of our business in doing so. This for us may be different from the purist view and learning around agile that GDS adopt. However, it is recognised that our practice may differ and if we do not think about agile practice together we all risk reverting to what we know. At NELC, we have a view of our gaps in knowledge and skills and is reflected in the training courses selected.