Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Invited to apply

Adult Social Care (ASC) is currently one of the most analogue and expensive services that councils deliver. The Care Act increased the pressure particularly around assessments and with an ageing population this vital service will continue to feel the strain if left unchanged.

Responsible officers across the country are all facing the same challenge and some councils report that only c. 20% of people who go through the assessment process receive a care package. There is still the responsibility to undertake the assessment and signpost to self-funding services and information for the other 80%. Following a collaborative Discovery project involving Kent County Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Stockton Borough Council, a prototype is being developed to test the waters with self-service triage and Care Needs Assessment. In addition to product development the vision for the project is to develop methodologies and templates that can be reused regardless of geography and meet the needs of Local Authorities across the country.

With demand building and costs rising, it is critical to understand how and where digital tools can help and any self-serve solution is putting users front and centre to ensure success.

Discovery evidence

This project to date has brought together a group of ASC service heads to undertake a piece of collective research and analysis to produce a blueprint for a public sector-led digital approach to triage and Care Needs self-assessment.

Working with Kent County Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Stockton Borough Council, we did onsite visits to each partner and carried out shadowing/interview sessions with a large number of users, ranging from social workers and care navigators to system administrators and contact centre staff. We determined that in order to enable any form of digital self-service there would likely be the need to consider redesigning current processes and systems.

Following on from the detailed business analysis and user research, we consolidated outputs and identified areas of commonality, leading to an assessment of appropriate digital tools and an early stage digital product (prototype) that has value to all partners and provided a solid base from which to work and build.

  • Digital leadership training (for council leaders, service managers or senior executives)
  • Digital and agile awareness
  • Introduction to user research
  • Introduction to service design
  • Introduction to delivery management