Challenge: Improving operational healthcare
A study by the NHS Alliance and the Primary Care Foundation estimated 27% of GP appointments could be avoided by using better technology and coordination between GPs and services. Patients suffering from social exclusion, debt anxiety or poor diet are often responsible for repeat appointments using valuable GP time. These underlying problems could be handled through support services, allowing overstretched GPs to focus on other patients.
The Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) decided take to action. Now, with consent from the patient, the GP can refer them to a Social Prescriber.
Solution: Going Local
In partnership with Adur & Worthing Councils and West Sussex County Council, the CCG set up a new scheme, Going Local, to get people out of doctor’s surgeries by referring them to non-medical services. To be effective, this ‘social prescribing’ approach would also require a solid tech platform.
Luckily, Paul Brewer’s team at Adur & Worthing Councils had been using Low-code to replace legacy systems and they knew it could help streamline processes at Going Local.
Results: Extend to a two-year scheme
Encouraging early results led the CCG to extend the pilot to a two-year scheme. It’s also setting up a steering group for the schemes and is working on plans to start a service user group. Beyond this, there’s also huge potential to extend the Low-code solution to deliver even more value.
“The scheme is reducing the demand on GP practices and provides holistic help to patients, rather than pigeonholing them with a single health issue.”
Extending the use of Low-code
The Digital Team are rolling out several different projects within their transformation strategy. The first successes involve the Waste Services Team, improving tenant experience and centralising the asset management systems. The new systems addressed the specific issues as well as improving the user experience for residents and staff in the area. The projects were able to be implemented quickly and generated very positive feedback.
1. Agile development for waste services
The Digital Team spent 12 weeks working alongside the Waste Teams, to build four self-service applications using Low-code which link to the existing back office systems. These cover a range of things, for example ‘Street Scene’, a fly-tipping app enabling people to report and send a photo of a fly-tip site via an online map system. The council now know the location and what to look for, plus the system alerts waste teams directly to clear it up.
2. Improving tenant experience with housing repairs
Using Low-code, the Digital Team built a self-service app for tenants to report repairs. The system enables the office team to see the staff operative who is nearest the area and has the right skills and enables them to alert that operative to do the repair. Notifications are sent to the tenant and the operative uploads images of the completed tasks.
3. Delivering improved asset management
The council had several systems and teams involved in managing 7,000 commercial properties and assets. Using Low-code, a centralised system was built with several apps which enabled data to be accessed and updated, avoiding missed compliance check deadlines or duplication of works by different teams. This is easier to use, far more efficient and keeps assets, staff and the public safe.
“We identified that Low-code was really the sweet-spot for us: to have control to build for ourselves, in a cost effective way that didn’t demand high-end developer skills.”
Adur & Worthing also identified that Low-code gave them control to build for themselves, but to do so in a cost effective way. It also didn’t demand high-end developer skills, but enabled them to utilise the highly skilled and knowledgeable staff that they already had within the organisation. 60% of their current Digital Team originally came from other departments within the council.
There are now over 50 ongoing digital projects at Adur & Worthing Councils. Beyond this, there’s also huge potential to extend the Low-code solution to deliver even more value.
“Low-code has been the thing that has really made it for us. Being able to use the talent that was already here and build an IT Team around the Low-code platform, has allowed us be able to work really fast and at high quality.”