Benefits & Housing Needs Service Redesign Project -Sprint Notes 13: Get On It!

A few weeks has passed since our last entry, and a lot has happened. Really, a lot. These notes get harder to write because of all the content, that is why you will be expecting to see a few new publications regarding this work shortly. So keep an eye out on your channels! 

The project team has now come to the end of the year project, so here is a bit of a recap of some of the stories of impact over the last phase, and what you can expect to see next.

Understanding Vulnerability Snapshot:

Yes! We have changed the name from ‘Understanding Vulnerability’ to ‘Snapshot’. If you haven’t been following; The Snapshot allows staff to build a bigger picture of the resident’s situation when they contact any part of the service. 

Last time we showed you some of the feedback we had from testing. As designers do, we started to iterate the tool and ensure a smooth transition from ‘Alpha’ to ‘Beta’ . We also did a number of 1-1 interviews and feedback surveys to understand if staff are able to learn more about a resident and if they are able to recommend additional resources during a conversation when using Snapshot:

63% agreed they learnt something new or unexpected about the resident

64% recommended a resource or useful service to the resident during the interaction

Above you will see our hypothesis and the outcomes that we hoped to achieve. At the moment we believe we are on our way to start achieving some of our short-term and medium term outcomes. With staff reporting:

As further development is now paused on the snapshot tool, we will be looking to set up an 8 – 10 week pilot that goes deeper into user research. Once these weeks are over, we should have enough information to help inform our beta backlog, and what to do next! Watch out for more talk of this on our blog.

Evidence Store:

Over the last month we have been building the API for the Evidence Store to work across some other tools e.g. Single View. All that good work is now finished and the API is ready to go. We will be looking to ensure that the new API:

  1. Saves time
  2. Reduces duplication
  3. Is easier for staff and residents to use

The API is now LAUNCHED. Enabling staff to request documents from Single View. This means staff can prepare for a conversation with a resident by reading all their case notes, mark any vulnerabilities and strengths and then request supporting documents needed for a benefit claim (and more) from the one place.

This will save staff a lot of time, and we will be doing some further benchmarking to make sure we are delivering the impact that we are aiming for. 

Self-service Tools + Shared Plan

You might be asking… Why are these things together? Well after the last few weeks, some of the work has been blended and we have found that having a ‘pre-assessment plan’ to give to a resident with easy to follow steps has proved extremely valuable

The pre-assessment Plan

The pre-assessment plan is taking the shared plan we have created, and allowing it to be created before the initial contact with a resident; either at the assessment stage or the first conversation. It helps them understand their housing options, and what they can do to prevent their own situation from getting worse.

After some initial testing:

Shared Plans created and sent to 12 residents

7 out of 12 residents completed actions in their plans (58%)

Of these 7, they completed 52 out of 67 actions set (78%)

Overall, 52 out of 100 actions set were completed (52%)

This shows some great success, helping manage expectations and also allowing us to understand that residents will engage with these tools. Over the next phase we will be providing training for customer services to use this in their work. 

Multi-disciplinary shared plan

Another use of the shared plan has been one that is created with different teams and professionals across the council. We believe by breaking down silos, the council can offer a resident better outcomes and a consistent approach. We now have 4 of these plans, owned by the Benefits and Housing Needs service and working with partners.

Over the next 8 weeks we’re running an experiment to see if using the Shared Plan with residents who are in the most complex situations will save staff time and result in better outcomes for residents.

  1. Does this save staff time in casework (moving from email chains, responding to enquiries)?
  2. Does this improve the experience for staff (working together to solve a problem, making progress towards an outcome)?
  3. Does this improve the experience for residents (transparency, clarity, sense of ownership)?
  4. Does this result in better outcomes for residents (case resolved sooner, staff confidence in the outcome)?
What does it all mean?

Now that you have been following our journey over 13 sprints. What do all of these things mean together? How do they help a customer on the one journey?

Over the last year we have been working with the Benefits and Housing Needs service to design and build a service that we are proud of and confident in delivering. A service which is easily understood, fair, accessible and beneficial to our residents. 

A service that is joined-up and can expand the good work already happening, and deliver the best outcome for a resident. Over the last week we have been capturing stories of how these tools work together, to achieve our vision.

There is a lot more work to do, but this past year we have seen staff change the way they work, help build the future they want to see and hopefully make all their day-to-days a little better.

As always, stay tuned for more.

That’s all folks! Want to know more?

Here is the link to our most recent Show & Share Session 03/09/20.

Keep following our notes and posts, and feel free to get in touch with Claire or Scott if you’d like to chat through any of the work.

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