Between April and October 2019 we led a discovery project, in partnership with the Local Government Association and NHS Digital
Our project set out to understand 'How we might enable service users and carers to access information about their care services to give them more control'.
To find out:
- what information and services do our service users and carers need to access?
- what people's current experience is, specifically barriers or frustrations and where there is opportunity for improving user experiences?
- what benefits and barriers digital solutions or services could bring to service users and carers, including where assisted digital services might be useful?
With funding provided by NHS Digital, we recruited an experienced research partner, Lagom Strategy, to help us deliver the project. Working in partnership, our project team led a detailed discovery, engaging with service users, carers, paid advocates, telephony staff and social workers to gather insight through:
- 16 telephone interviews
- 2 workshops
- Online user experience survey
- Assisted survey completion in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, Dewsbury District Hospital and Huddersfield Library
- Assisted completion of a paper based, easy read user experience survey for adults with a learning disability
- Online user needs validation survey.
We identified 40 individual information access user needs. Based on the insight gathered, we then:
- Collated and reviewed internal data to assess volumes of need
- Built a digital prototype care account and tested it with a sample of service users, carers, adult social care telephony advisors and social workers
- Delivered a review of existing care accounts available on the market.
We gathered valuable insight into:
- how people contact Kirklees Adult Social Care
- who contacts Kirklees Adult Social Care
- what people's contact preferences are
- what peoples digital literacy is and what appetite there is for digital self-service solutions to assist in meeting the needs of adult social care service users and carers in future.
Findings report and highlights
We have also produced a brief video to highlight the findings from our discovery:
What happens next
We plan to take forward our prototyped care account, to develop it into a working product in collaboration with service users and carers. We are looking to deliver a solution which would meet the user needs identified and give people more visibility and control of their adult social care services.
We then plan to run a pilot of the care account with a selection of adult social care service users and carers so that we can gather feedback and measure the usage, outcomes and impacts this could bring both within Kirklees but also nationwide if it was extended out to all service users and carers.
To meet the needs of service users and carers who prefer the flexibility, transparency and increased control that an online service could provide.
Traditional telephone and face-to-face contact will also be maintained in Kirklees Adult Social Care to ensure that urgent needs can be met, complex conversations can be held and those who are unable or prefer not to do things online continue to be supported effectively.