Our Show and Tell events give local authorities a unique chance to speak with the Kirklees team that are using BetterCare, and to find out more about the development of the product itself. Our latest event on Wednesday 9th of May was another success, and the first Show and Tell event to focus solely on BetterCare.
Kirklees’ Adult Social Care Vision
Steve Bird, Head of Welfare and Exchequer Services at Kirklees Council, kicked off the day by outlining Kirklees’ vision for digital transformation and discussing how their delivery of Adult Social Services is a key part of the wider change at the Council. He explained their priority: “The key focus of the digital transformation is to redesign front end services in a way that means as many people as possible can do the simple stuff themselves.” He went on to explain that this emphasis on self-service is underpinned by the basic principle that everybody who needs support should get it.
This commitment to improving services ultimately led to BetterCare’s successful implementation at Kirklees Council, and they began tackling financial assessments for care using a self-service approach. This came with its own challenges, though. Specifically, Steve Bird explains, they knew they needed to not just change the system, but change the culture at the Council. To do this, management had to be on board and see the benefits it would bring in providing a higher quality of service.
Demonstrating the Platform
Following Steve, Paul Meyers, Senior Analyst for Looking Local, gave a live demonstration of the platform. After showing how the mini and full length assessment forms work and the tools/guidance in place to assist self-serve, Paul faced questions from delegates.
Clearly very concerned about the wellbeing of their citizens, questions focused on safeguarding, and much like Steve’s approach, in guaranteeing their citizens can always access the care they need. Some were concerned that the online approach might allow people to ‘fall through the net’, but it became clear that in practice, with 80% of people self-serving, then Kirklees staff can spend more time making sure the most vulnerable people really are receiving all the care that they need, and prevents them missing out on the care they need.
Perspectives from the Front Line
To conclude the day, Kim Draper, Project Officer at Kirklees Council, spoke about her and her staff’s experience on the front line of care delivery, and how using BetterCare has affected their day-to-day services.
She told delegates about how their old paper-based system of carrying out financial assessments for care was causing long wait times, and led to a high rate of failed care packages. The current system wasn’t working and it needed change. Another major issue, she explained, was the disconnect between social workers and financial assessments. Both these issues were solved by implementing BetterCare – it eliminated wait times at the council, and Care Navigators felt confident carrying out financial assessments for care, even without training, because they can use BetterCare to assist wherever they are.