In North East Lincolnshire, adult services are part of a complicated system of health, social care, mental health and housing. With a lack of conscious design across this structure, challenges arise, people’s complex needs aren’t met and work is duplicated.
The council is continually looking for ways to improve citizen experiences and create a system that focuses on early intervention and prevention.
Looking at health and social care together, along with mental health, housing and public health, we supported North East Lincolnshire Council and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to work together and discover more opportunities for adult services.
Supporting the council, CCG and eleven independent providers, we led design research to make sure everyone had an understanding of the various challenges facing adult services. Bringing these organisations together allowed us to visualise how different services communicate with one another and identify opportunities for change.
Through user research, testing and engagement with the community, we learnt what it feels like for citizens when they’re referred to services, when they receive support or when the system struggles to meet their needs. We also got to more deeply understand their values, goals, hopes and fears for the future of the service.
We prototyped new solutions around governance, data, content and user experience, which helped us understand the opportunities for full service transformation. We were then able to provide the council with recommendations for the future.
We built our recommendations into a roadmap for the council, breaking everything down into manageable tasks and an achievable timeline. Through a series of workshops covering everything from user research to agile delivery, we gave staff the skills to achieve these milestones.
We also worked closely with the Integrated Care Partnership to understand their experience of supporting residents. We offered service design support and reframed their challenges so they could better coordinate work and deliver positive experiences for citizens with complex needs.
The impact of this work can be seen at all levels of the service. Staff are now closer to the real life effects of their decisions, with a better understanding of citizens' experiences, and the different trigger points that cause someone to seek help. There is also more clarity over what senior leaders want to achieve, and the infrastructure and ways of working needed to support this.
Thanks to this work, adult services can truly meet the needs of residents and provide early intervention.
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