User journeys into adult social care (ASC)


  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

Councils are facing a huge demand for adult care services (ASC) due to an ageing population and changes to the Care Act. 

Led by the London Borough of Redbridge, this project will identify opportunities to deliver more preventative interventions and effective triaging. The objective is to keep residents healthier, maintain their independence and remain at home for longer.

This discovery will map user journeys into adult care, ultimately helping residents seeking care and local authority staff tasked with meeting this need through:

  • informing a clear user journey for residents to get the right help at the right time
  • reducing demand on front line staff through more opportunities for residents to self serve
  • shifting resources to preventative care, keeping residents healthier and at home longer

This will aim to address universal issues council face, including: 

  • limited council resources
  • ineffective triaging and signposting
  • an ageing population – Redbridge expects to see 27% more over 65-year-olds by 2030
  • changes to the Care Act, with expected increase in demand due to increased eligibility and the need to reassess existing clients

This project will lay the foundations for improved service delivery, empower residents to take charge of their care, make efficient use of resources and enable councils to provide a truly digital service.

Project outputs

The discovery will include user journey to front door of ASC services, prior to adoption of a care plan, enabling councils to anticipate need and have effective and automated triage methods.

Outputs will include user research and journey mapping, identifying key life and health events.

Project timeline

March 2023

The project is awarded £100,000 in funding through Round 6 of the Local Digital Fund to begin a discovery phase.

May 2023

Team members from the partner councils met to establish roles and responsibilities for the discovery. They also looked at building user groups and working groups made up of Adult Social Care subject experts from across the partner councils.

The team is working on a procurement brief to get support for their research into Adult Social Care and early interventions, which they plan to finalise and publish on Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) this sprint. They’ve also been working on internal communications to support and gain engagement and reach around the project, so that all staff are aware and feel involved in the process.

Next sprint, they will book in sessions with stakeholders and user groups to explain the purpose of the discovery, and set a timetable for updates to all partners and project governance.

June 2023

During this sprint, the project team has signed off and published the procurement bid to the five suppliers they have met and discussed the work with. In preparation for the discovery phase, they have been updating their data regarding Adult Social Care and comparing it with last year’s dashboard.

Through this data analysis, they have collated information from all the critical entry points to create a toolkit for the successful contractor.

In the next sprint, the team’s objective is to award the contract. They will continue their preparations, including checking for any missing journeys, finalising user groups for interviews, and coordinating with key staff members from Redbridge and partner councils.

July 2023

The project team is close to finalising the selection of a supplier to support the discovery project. During this sprint, they also conducted interviews with the First Contact team to identify process gaps and understand the demand.

In preparation for upcoming stakeholder interview sessions in September, the team has been collecting data from specific user groups. This data will be included in a preparatory pack for the project’s kick-off meeting.

In the next sprint, the team will focus on mapping out key user journeys for the discovery phase. They will pay particular attention to the journeys of people in a crisis, and those in need of support.

The team will track user journeys through the department’s website to gain insights. Additionally, they will assess common call enquiries, such as requests for home equipment, to identify any recurring issues that could be improved.

August 2023

During this sprint, the project team has been focused on introducing their partner to the project and defining the scope and objectives for the upcoming kick-off in September. The team has also updated the existing user journeys and data to focus on priority areas. Communication has been established with council partners, informing them that they will be engaged and are a key part of this project.

The next step for the project includes ensuring their partner is up-to-date with all the research previously collected. Additionally, user research sessions have been scheduled with a range of user groups.

September 2023

The Redbridge project team has completed a review of all mapped user journeys and preparation of their idea-focussed meeting ready for DXW to join. They are now moving into the first sprint of the discovery phase with planned Show and Tells from week 3 onwards. Several key partners are actively involved, providing important insights for the project.

The project team recently conducted interviews with the Redbridge Adult Social Care First Contact team. This provided insights into team structure and required skills, helping them set up for afternoon shadowing sessions with a nurse, wellbeing officer and an occupational therapist.

Key points raised during the sessions included:

  1. ‘How can we stop people ending up on the waiting list when what they need isn’t relevant for Adult Social Care?’
  2. ‘How can we make people more aware of how they can self-serve, so they can get the help sooner (if they are able), and reduce demand on the Adult Social Care service so those most in need can be helped sooner?’

During the shadowing sessions, the team gained practical insights into the daily work processes and identified system-relation frustrations.

They have also conducted a workshop to explore user experiences, focusing on why people seek Adult Social Care. The team is now looking for creative ways to engage different groups and utilising existing knowledge within the organisation. They plan to deliver a service safari to identify contact points leading people to Adult Social Care.

October 2023

In the last sprint, the project team conducted pop-up style user research sessions at two locations in Redbridge. The first was held at the Central Library and the second at a local polyclinic, where they managed to speak to around 30 participants. With this research, they’ve been able to further understand where residents spend most of their time, where they go for information and what adult social care means to them.

The team are now speaking with three separate community groups: Redbridge Day Opportunities, Hainault Community Cafe and One Place East. Their aim is to explore other ways residents can look for support and the role that community groups play in ensuring residents stay independent for longer.

In the next sprint, they are planning to complete co-design sessions to take forward the work.