Finding support services near you: weeknotes 19/03/20

This week’s weeknote is brought to you by team member Meg Dibb-Fuller

What a week!

For the Finding Support Services project team it’s been a week full of new trials, new websites and new team members!

A reminder for those who aren’t sure of where this project came from, this digital project is sponsored by the City and Hackney Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) to help Joe Bloggs (a fictional person) from London Fields (his mates and his health and care team, also fictional) to find the right support that he needs as close to home as possible, quickly and easily.

We were tickling along quite nicely with the project and then… boom. Covid-19 hit us with a bang. 

Responding to Covid-19

Over the weekend, the number of positive Covid-19 tests increased rapidly across the UK. As such, we were asked this question on Monday morning:

“How can you grow a minimum viable digital product from a small trial into a business-as-usual service, with the potential to be used by thousands of residents and health and care professionals across City and Hackney?”

Ermmmm…. :/

Well, this is what we did.

The project team rallied around and, using data gathered from our minimum viable product (MVP) in Well St, pulled together a map of local voluntary and support services – live in 36 hours from inception to delivery. 

There are many reasons why were could accomplish this:

  1. Strong Relationships – Hackney CVS’s relationship with the Integrated Care Partnership and the voluntary and community sector. The information and data gathered was a core reason as to why we could get this up and running as quickly as we did
  2. Comradery and risk taking HackIT turning an existing prototype into a usable template. Read more about it here (the map template is open source on GitHub for reuse if you need it!)
  3. Flexibility – the resources (laptops, online tools, etc) and trust in our team that enabled flexible working from home
  4. Following Agile Principles – we were able to adapt to feedback and within the first 24 hours had fixed two bugs (inc. the map not being visible on Internet Explorer – sorry, NHS staff) and added two features (inc. making the map easier to navigate) 

Phew, take a breath. 

Before you get in touch and ask us the million dollar question: how is this map staying up to date?

Well, the original plan was to put the onus on organisations to keep their information up to date on their own websites and social media, and for us to signpost our visitors to these channels. This remains the case. However, the current situation being as it is, there was not enough time to build an automated account creation, verification and reverification workflow and we have had to adapt. 

We continue to urge listed organisations to keep their websites and social media up to date but we are checking in with them regularly to make sure they are doing this, and are remaining open. All the while building relationships, and driving home the importance of up to date online information that is so central to our delivery. 

How can you help?

  1. Share the web link across your own marketing channels (newsletters, intranet, websites, social media etc) – we are happy to help pull content together 
  2. Send us links to any comms you’ve done and we will reshare!
  3. If you know of a local organisation that would want to be featured on the map, please ask them to fill in this form

What’s next?

So much. We’ll be in touch next week once we have managed to take a breath and prioritise what we ‘must do’ vs what we ‘should’ or ‘could do’. 

Until then. Keep healthy and safe.  

PS Yesterday we were the 3rd most visited page on – after the Homepage and Coronavirus pages! Proves how much this project is valued – and needed.

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