East Sussex reduces costs without lowering quality
East Sussex County Council serves 240,000 households situated in mainly coastal and rural areas across an area of 660 square miles. With a quarter of its 550,000 population aged 65 or over, East Sussex has a higher than national average proportion of older residents.
In need of an integrated and efficient workflow driven case management system, the Council selected Liquidlogic and implemented its Adult Social Care System (LAS) including integrated finance functionality, in December 2015. At the same time, the Council went on to procure the full suite of Liquidlogic’s Autonomy self-service portals.
East Sussex County Council subsequently went on to select Liquidlogic for its Early Help Module (EHM) and Children’s Social Care System (LCS) in February 2016 and finally the Liquidlogic SingleView system in September 2017.
Autonomy portals can be broken down into four modules:
- Client - Enables individuals to access their details, fill in assessments and reviews, view any personal budget and details of their support plans, exchange messages with social workers, etc.
- Citizen - Gives individuals an indication of their likelihood of qualifying for Council assistance, in terms of both needs and finances. Can be configured to send online referrals directly to the back-office case management system.
- Provider - Gives providers an online interface where they can review orders, submit actuals and share documents and information with the Local Authority.
- MarketPlace - Provides information about the local social care marketplace and gives individuals the ability to compare options, build shortlists and choose and pay for services in an intuitive manner.
The latter two modules support an online Resource Directory (East Sussex1Space).
With the demand for Adult Social Care services set to increase against a backdrop of tightened budgets, the Council was looking for additional ways to reduce operating costs while maintaining a high-quality service.
In addition, Care Act obligations meant the Council needed to extend its information and advice provision.
Speaking about the selection of the Liquidlogic Autonomy suite, Kate Griffiths, Business Manager at East Sussex County Council comments: “We already had a strong relationship with Liquidlogic in place and decided to opt for the Autonomy portals, which would uniquely integrate with our Liquidlogic Adults’ Social Care System (LAS). Our objective for implementing the portals was to provide Adult Social Care with a digital mechanism to deal with increased demand, and to provide members of the public with a self-service tool to interact with the Council.”
Members of the public can submit their own Referral forms and Carers Assessments via the Citizen Portal, which is embedded in the East Sussex County Council website ensuring a seamless look for the public.
Once completed, the forms are submitted directly into the LAS and a task is created in the case management system for the Contact and Assessment team to pick up.
Where members of the public complete the form online and no eligible needs are identified, the user is signposted to alternative providers of services in the online resource directory. This resource directory is the Marketplace application, which East Sussex implemented in 2012. With explicit signposting to this directory from the online assessments, Autonomy has strengthened the Council’s information and advice provision.
Over time, the council is aiming for 10% of new carer assessments and adult referrals to be completed via online forms. As well as providing members of the public with the freedom to complete assessments at their convenience, this channel shift brings opportunities to make efficiency savings in staff recording.
The implementation of the Citizen Portal functionality represented a start in East Sussex’s strategic objectives of enabling greater self-care and self-service, and of expanding existing channels to include online platforms.
Objectives for the future focus on further exploiting the self-service potential offered by portals, for example registration for additional carers’ services online, and tools for members of the public to gauge their potential financial contribution to care costs via a financial self-assessment facility.
The Council is aiming in the longer term to give members of the public access to their social care record via the Autonomy online account functionality by activating the Client portal. Client accounts promise to be a significant enabler for members of the public to manage, access and contribute to their care journey.
Implementation Top Tips
- Start with smaller, simpler objectives rather than diving straight into the deep end - the Autonomy solution is ideal for incremental development.
- Consider how Google analytics can help monitor and evaluate the take up of your online service once it has been implemented. This information can highlight points of drop out in the user’s journey through their online interaction, allowing you to take corrective action if necessary.
- Engagement with partner organisations and establishing a user group early in the project will lead to an online resource which is more likely to succeed. User groups can provide important input into accessibility, plain English standards and site branding.
For further details about the Autonomy suite e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your Liquidlogic Account Manager.