Portsmouth City Council (PCC) is developing a revolutionary project, uniting care, health and wellbeing services across Portsmouth, currently delivered by myriad organisations, all providing important and valuable services, often in isolation. Consequently, there are 100+ electronic/on-line Directories of Service in Portsmouth – each a standalone database, requiring a high degree of user input, knowledge and time to navigate.
PCC initiated Project Bridge in 2017, to improve communication, co-operation and services. The HIVE is a resultant approach to provision, embracing technology, adaptability, future proofing and connectivity (including between organisations).
The project includes Gosport Borough Council, with flexibility to accommodate surrounding boroughs. Hampshire County Council have already allowed access to relevant databases.
In collaboration with Southampton University Digital Innovation team (social enterprise), a new digital platform is under development to combine all directories and create a user-led interactive database, using current technology, such as ‘chatbots’, to build a profile specific to the individual.
Compatible with all current social media platforms, with ability to be GPS enabled and allow embedded material as appropriate, it will primarily be a personal web based tool, with webchat functionality, allowing access to virtually anything the user needs, and forming a single point of contact for service access.
Project Bridge has been an 18 month Discovery project to highlight where the disconnects are, who is providing services within the city, where they feel the communication is lacking, how they interact with their patients or clients and how they feel things could be improved through the use of technology and matric working.
Our findings showed that the main issues were:
- Too many providers offering similar services
- Low communication between the sector and statutory bodies, in either direction.
- A historic ‘us and them’ attitude at many levels
- The needs of the organisations being put before the needs of the residents
- Very outdated, dull and/or under used technology and websites
This has been an ongoing process, engaging as many organisations as possible through targeted visits, open meetings and regular ‘coffee, cake and creativity’ sessions to spark debate and encourage openness and honesty to have a base to build from.
- Digital leadership training (for council leaders, service managers or senior executives)
- Digital and agile awareness
- Introduction to service design
- Introduction to product management