LGA Masterclass 1 Video: Digital Benefits Realisation
Our first LGA CHIP programme masterclass was a great success, with Mark Allen from Hampshire County Council, Julie Eshleman from Leonard Cheshire and Sam Bassett from Suffolk County Council providing insight on how they measure digital benefits using qualitative and quantitative data.
Watch the full masterclass below and join others via the events section of our website.
[Georgia Goddard] I’m very pleased to introduce this masterclass on digital benefits realisation. It’s the first in a five-part series, which forms part of the LGA CHIP digital support programme. My name is Georgia and I’m the Local Government Association contact for this project, working as part of the CHIP digital team under My NHSX. It’s great to be working again with Rethink Partners following on from work we completed early this year. I’ll let them all introduce themselves later.
But first I think it would be good to cover ground rules. So if we can go onto the next slide, please, thank you. Just a few ground rules. If you are having connectivity issues, we recommend you turn your video off to ensure best connectivity. And if you can also please put yourself on mute that will avoid any audio feedback throughout.
Please do hold questions until our Q &A however you can add them in the chat if you wish and we’ll collate them later on, if you do have a questions or any comments, please do state your name and organisation. We’ll be sharing a recording of this webinar alongside slides, materials and the Q & As. So if there’s no objections, we are already recording. If you do want to talk to us about that, please just email afterwards.
You can also Tweet about this event online by the hashtag LGA digital, but please be aware that others may not wish to feature a new Tweets. So please just be aware of that with the posting. Moving on to the next slide, please. I hope you’re all here for the digital benefits realisation masterclass. But just to give you an idea of some of the themes we’ll be covering today. Why tracking impact and benefits in a holistic way is important, demystifying financial benefits, how to tackle measuring benefits and outcomes, and most importantly, using this in practice. We’re really fortunate to be hearing the experiences today from amazing people immersed in this work.
So we’re very grateful for them for attending. A more specific agenda. Can we move on to the next slide please, El. Thank you. We’re really lucky to hear from Mark Allen from Hampshire County Council today. Julie Eshleman from Leonard Cheshire and Sam Bassett from Suffolk County Council. through the next hour and a half. But first, Rethink Partners Clare Morris will be giving us an overview of the what, why’s and hows of benefits realisation. So I’ll pass straight onto her, for today – thanks Clare.
[Clare Morris] Lovely, thanks, Georgia. And good morning, everybody lovely to see some familiar names and some new faces on these masterclasses. I’m Clare Morris and I’m chief executive of Rethink Partners. As Georgia said we’re back commissioned by the LGA to, we hope draw out the knowledge that is implicit in lots of you who do work in this sector, but also to share our experiences of supporting councils to implement care technology effectively. And today we are looking at benefits realisation.
We looked at value in the last series of masterclasses, and this came up as a topic time and again, that people are interested in. So we hope now to kind of lift the lid a bit and speakers from councils will give you some very practical, real life experience of how you start and track benefits, both financial and non-financial outcomes benefits over the course of this morning.
Next slide please El. But I’m going to start with kind of why we want to do this at all in the first place. And I think for many of us, the focus ends up being about business cases about securing investment and whether you are piloting or gathering your own evidence to scale or learning from others. We tend to focus quite a lot on, on the financial drivers or a business case also on the outcomes, but obviously when it comes to investing money, that’s not what we need to think about, but obviously impact comes in many forms and there are many different audiences for it.
Actually those of us involved in this work, need the data and intelligence to know how we’re doing, how it’s performing, where we need to shift, adapt, learn. If we’re doing small and we want to grow big, then we absolutely need the intelligence to do that. But I will also say very strongly that impact and evidence is a huge part of culture change, and how we get sort of heads and hearts together, to huddle around this work and, see that it’s important. So whether that’s families, service users professionals, practitioners, partners, actually, there’s, there’s, there’s a real design appetite for information on impact El – do you want to track the video one on and just load it up? Thanks to colleagues at West Midlands ADASS, we’re just showing a really short video because this to me was a great demonstrating impact in a different way.
[Video] My son was offered a residential care placement for back in 2009. It was miles and miles away. I asked how much is that going to cost? And they said, 1700 pounds a week. And I said, what if I could design the support locally to us in his own home? Would you be happy with that? This is where that co-production, if like you’d started. So we managed to put together a package in his own home for about 42,000 pounds a year, and then gradually over those next 10 years, we were able to introduce these sorts of elements of tech.
You’ve got the traditional bed sensors, the chair sensor, the room sensor. Those are the sort of traditional things with Careline that you would see in most packages. But there are so many wonderful everyday gadgets that you can actually use that are very beneficial. Just being able to get my son to shower was really, really difficult because he kept getting into a cold cold water and he would not get it right. So being able to pop that little gadget up inside the shower, it costs what 12.99, so that if the water was cold, it ran blue water was warm, it ran red. And just being able to have a simple gadget like that reduced the need to have paid support going into the house. He can now do that independently.
[Clare Morris] Brilliant. Thanks. So that short video was actually about co-production and it makes a really good case for kind of how you should do that. And for those who didn’t have time to do the sums that approach saves the council 45,000 pounds a year. recurrently, but of course obviously improved hugely the quality of life for that person, for the family. So I just wanted to show you that because I’m actually thinking about the media and the vehicle through which you want to demonstrate. impact I think is as important in terms of crafting and curating the storytelling, what you want to do. A Minute and a half, and you seen outcomes, quality of life, money and a really good shout out for working differently. So I would ask us to think innovatively and creatively about how we want to communicate outcomes and who the audience for impact actually is. Next slide, please.
So the other bit of the why in terms of why impact is important is you know, this is, this is difficult work. There’s a lot going on at the moment. Councils are having to make important investment decisions, sometimes driven by digital switchover and compatibility of platforms and technology, but actually, we’re seeing momentum and interest for how you want to use technology as part and embedded and priority part of social care, practice, and offer really coming to the fore.
[Georgia] Apologies everyone. I think Clare’s just frozen. We missed the last couple of sentences. I think you could just go from there.
[Clare] Thank you. I’m back. Hopefully it wasn’t expecting that, but let’s see how we go this morning. Yes. So curating the financial benefits as well as the human stories and the outcomes can really help with some of these challenges. So persuading leaders persuading elected members to invest and you know, you will recognise that there are often people who are enthusiastic, but not necessarily that informed about what it takes to get this stuff to happen in practice.
So again, your impact and outcomes helps educate and inform for some of those longer term decisions. Next slide please. So I actually started the last masterclass on value, which is also uploaded on, on our digital platform. So feel free to go back to that. But one of the things that we are in terms of looking at impact and how you bring that to life for people is we’re seeing this real shift away from kind of low cost, low return into thinking differently about value and how your investments and your technology can generate value. I’ll come on into moments and own financial benefits, but most of the investment in technology, the benefits will be realised in your care cost of care budgets and making that sort of a match. It is a tricky thing. But and with digital technology coming on remote care monitoring interoperability the opportunity through digital technology to obtain data and start to think about crisis prevention, work, predictive modeling and AI, it’s actually the world away from the Telecare and Careline world that we know well.
And so arguably we need to think differently about how we inform, educate, evaluate, demonstrate impact, but think differently about value to support those investment decisions and with digital switchover going on at the moment, it’s more important than ever. I think that we are informed, but, and help inform people about why spending 300,000 pounds now would be better over the longer term. Next slide please.
So we’ve produced a tool to support this masterclass and it’s available on the digital platform, but I’ve attempted to unpack financial benefits a bit. This is the bit, I think, where there is so much kind of smoke and mirrors. And I would say that the market and suppliers like don’t think health this March, it’s not that they’re not helping themselves and helping us to make informed investment decisions by debunking and demystifying this, and we’re often seeing apples and pears are pulled together.
Mark and Sam will both talk much more about how you sort of get into the detail of the financial benefits, but essentially if you sort of care at language and, and they do fall into four distinct categories you’ve got the reduction in care, how you avoid care costs, how you delay care costs, which is arguably a subset of avoid and then prevent and prevention. And I think frankly, a lot of the time the prevention side is bigged up by the market and suppliers. And actually, obviously it’s at the left-hand side where actually councils need evidence, confidence, and ability to make the case to invest. So reducing care, I’ve got care in, I’m doing a review,
I’m now putting some kind of digital technology care technology in, and I’m reducing the care package around that. So good examples of that would be potentially reduction of overnight cover and supported living units. Switching medicines visits to a virtual visit as opposed to a face-to-face visit. So genuinely something was happening. It’s now not happening. I’ve taken cost out, but I haven’t impacted in any way on the quality of outcomes for that person, indeed, I might have enhanced their experience because they might prefer the digital solution. Overnight a really good example of that much less intrusive, more or less, much less interruption allows people to sleep.
Avoid is so using technology in place of starting or increasing care and support. So we see this particularly coming around hospital discharge and those kinds of crisis moments. But also thinking about how different types of need could be met differently. So for example, home care, welfare checks, you might be able to just put in one visit a day rather than three, but the other two can be done remotely through video technology, remote monitoring, devices, prompts, reminders, all sorts of options around an ecosystem you might put in somebody’s home. But you have reduced the care that you’re going to put in place delay simply holding people in their existing care setting for longer over time this is cashable over time, but starting to get into that bucket of a bit harder to track and a bit harder to realise, but I’d say within a financial year or months, if you cut somebody in their own home and the social worker has, was considering residential care and has managed to delay that, then that’s a genuine cashable saving obviously to the council.
And then prevent is where we get a bit woolly. I would argue these are important to track as much as you can because they are creating value and they do make the case for long-term investment, but these are not savings that are going to be realised in any cashable way in a year. So for example, traditional Telecare falls it’s difficult to know when you, when you have avoided something happening like a fall, also difficult to directly causally relate to the fact that somebody hasn’t fallen to the fact that they had remote monitoring in their home. Lastly, I want to point out on this slide is…so tracking and recording. We use our social work professionals to do this work for us. There is no magic formula. There’s no kind of standard, oh, if I say X, Y, and Z, then I can assume this. Or if I’ve put in a particular device, I can automatically assumes this, the councils who will speak to you soon, and many of you, I know do track and record this at the point of referral or assessment, it’s, it should be easy for people to social workers to do so it’s embedded into referral systems or care management case management systems.
And essentially you’re asking your professionals just to say what they would have done, what they are now doing. Mark and Sam will tell you a bit more about how you audit quality, assure that, and then build confidence actually, that those assessments are actually really quite reliable and you can just send, let them let the process go, but some work to be done upfront to set that up next slide, please. So we talk quite a lot about money and different kinds of money, but obviously there is there is the whole human qualitative people side all of this work and how we both capture and tell stories, play back and make real that, that genuinely potentially life-changing benefits of care technology. And I think just unpicking kind of whose outcomes we might want to track and who are the audiences for that is important both in terms of thinking how you capture things from the get go, but also the methods that you might want to use to do to capture that quantitative feedback, and then how you convey it and communicate it to people. So at the centre, we’ve got the person who’s receiving the technology and is receiving support of some kind and their outcomes obviously are prime.
We should be using strength, space, outcome-based care planning, and we can link those very clearly the person outcomes to their care plans and to care act outcomes. I would argue also some additional sort of qualitative income outcomes as well. But, but we’ve got a good solid foundation for that. But sitting around them is that potentially their carer, be that a spouse or informal care of some kind you’ve got their wider family members you’ve touched, you got a paid carer. So the workforce that’s working with them, and obviously you’ve got social work and professional council teams as well, tracking their outcomes and experience of the technology, obviously from the different perspectives is really important getting that holistic case. It can have real practical benefits, obviously on quality of life for carers, but family.
So looking at re reduced anxiety, which is a key driver of demand for escalating care need. So there were real tangible things here that we want to track and look at that might start to say, yes, this is great for the person, but actually look at the ripple effect it’s had on the care support around them for the paid carer, really keen to know if it’s, if it’s made their work more efficient, if it’s made their work more pleasurable and with a huge pressures we’ve got on care workforce and care market, there’s this satisfaction, job satisfaction and efficiency of those people, couldn’t be more important. And finally, our own teams is this easy. Are they seeing that it’s beneficial?
Are they actually getting a bit of a bonus from the fact that they’ve, they’ve done something good and what’s been their experience and their observations of those outcomes. And then what goes through these in details, but we’ve got two key audiences, I guess, for who might want to see some of that quantitative data. So internally within councils, a number of different audiences for that information. And then our partners. So I’ve put partners there for a number of reasons, but we’re not doing this work in isolation. We are increasingly part of integrated health and care systems and in ICSes, but actually making the case to the care market, to the NHS and to housing for how we work differently together around this, it’s really compelling as well. And they need numbers and stories. They need both as well. Next slide.
So again, on the tool, I’ve just highlighted some of the types of benefits that we might want to track, particularly for the person, the carer and their family and thought about how we might capture the impact, both the mechanics of when and how we capture the impact, but then also how we bring it life for people case studies, comments, compliments from social workers, from care workers, as well as for the family members and the person themselves all hugely important and really bring things to life. So you might have satisfaction data, you might have impact data.
You may be running quantitative surveys but actually catching those vignettes is really important as well. And think about particularly with qualitative as you would with, with money you need to baseline it from the start. So capture where people are in terms of confidence, satisfaction, care needs, loneliness, whatever it is before you put the technology in and then track it, thereafter. Final slide.
Thanks El. So I could write top tips forever, and Julie, Mark and Sam will give you lots of those, but really think about who you are trying to influence as you’re designing your evaluation and impact framework, map your stakeholders, to make sure that you’re capturing the data that you think they will need, and that will influence them in the way that you wish to. Adapt content and media to context an audience. I won’t say any more about that, but, you know reports BI really important for some audiences, but other people need, need different things. Don’t stop, I think would be my, in the third bullet. So demonstrating benefits is essential throughout a digital transformation journey. So as you’re mobilising and planning as you’re in those early days, as things are ramping up, but, but never stop because there will always be additional impacts, additional learning, tweaks to do.
And increasingly we’ll see how in more mature models and councils that management information business intelligence becomes hardwired into a wider adult social care performance and information dashboard and how it can flow through, into people’s appraisals, performance monitoring, et cetera and capture impact from the outset. It’s kind of obvious, but when we’re busy and we’re trying to move quickly, either with full service rollouts, new technology or projects we have to get in at the beginning, capture our baselines and then move on from there. And it’s really easy to forget and suddenly find you’re in the middle of it. And you haven’t got a control group or a starting point.
Right I’m now going to hand over to Mark Allen who many of you may know he’s from Hampshire County Council. He’s been at this a while. Mark’s an old dog at this work, I think but hugely experienced and knowledgeable. And I know you’re going to gain a huge amount from Mark. Just to say, we’ve got a question and answer discussion session at the end of the three speakers. So please do put questions in the chat and I’ll be chairing and curating that session shortly over to you, Mark.
Thank you, Clare. It’s nice to know I’ve become an old dog. So my name’s Mark Allen. I work for Hampshire County Council and I’m head of tech and digitally enabled care for the council. I’m going to run through and good morning everyone I’m to run through today our approach to benefits realisation. I suspect a lot of what I’ll say will be familiar to everybody. But this is just really a run through some of the headlines of what we do as an authority. Before I get into the weeds of that, if I can have the next slide, please. And the next one, sorry. One of the things I wanted to do was to make the point that actually getting the foundations correct are really key. And for us, one of those, those areas have been, is about identified outcomes that we want to see delivered via the services that we’re responsible for delivering.
And for us, those are very much been around actually looking at how we define the outcomes. So for us, we’re looking at individual organisation and systemic, and in each of those, there are very key areas of concentration that are important for us to actually focus on in terms of the impacts we want to see. The individual ones are very clear they’re about actually enabling people to live more independently, giving people the tools to manage their lives more effectively, provide support and critically for us, how they become part of a care package. So these are not things that sit alongside care packages they’re integrated into organisationally. For us, the important areas of this are, and Claire very ably described the, the sorts of impacts we want to be seen as an organisation, but for us, those are actually, does it add add to the efficiency of the services we’re able to provide?
Does it give people the individuals we’re providing services for greater independence or those sorts of things. And also importantly, is it contributing to the, the saving structures that we’ve all got and the systemic ones around how we contribute to those wider system impacts about working with the NHS, discharge from hospital, those sorts of things, but the tools. We also need the tools to be able to deliver these sorts of things and to be able to build in a benefits realisation methodology. So for us, these have been things like working with our workforce, so that care professionals are using the services in the best way, but also they’ve got some responsibilities in the processes Clare said, so actually looking at asking the question, if you’re using tech, what aren’t you doing instead of that? So for us, some of the key things around how technology can be used to limit the increase in domicilary care packages or how it can be used to delay admittance to residential nursing care, those are key things, key things.
And for us, the tools that we provide is full training. We have a training programme that runs concurrently all the time. It’s a rolling programme. It works every year, and we’ve been doing that for the last seven or eight years. We’ve worked with our champions and we developed a champions network. And I’m sure all of you have got those sorts of things in place, but importantly, as well as the payback on that is, is we’ve got a service that’s very responsive to those, those professionals that meets their needs really quickly and efficiently, and then very much important at the end of this is the capacity to manage information and data effectively. I’m going to show you in the next slide, if we can move on some of the approaches we have to managing data. So this is one of our PI power BI dashboards.
This, this one particularly relates to technology enabled care and technology services. This gives me and our operational heads of service and their team managers, the ability to draw down and look at the different behaviours and the referral rates how the service is contributing to packages of care throughout the whole of the department. It works on I’m sorry, this is quite small. And unless you’re looking at this on a big screen, you won’t see it, but you can get the slides afterwards. You can see that it’s broken down by the teams in our organisation. So we can actually scrutinise the behaviours within those teams, what the referral levels are, what the, how the relationship between assessments, taking place and referrals or those sorts of things, reasons why referrals are not being made, et cetera, so let’s move on.
That’s what we report in terms of the local authority side of things from our tech partner, we get regular reports about installation rates, referrals that they receive and how they translate to installations, the numbers of uninstalls and the net growth in connections. And that gives us a pattern that we can then relate back to the referrals that received from our side of things. It just gives us a very rich picture of what we’re looking at. What that enables us to do then is to start to think about how you use that information to assess certainly the financial benefits and other benefits. So if you want to move on.
So for us, the approach to benefits realisation is really built on three, three pillars. So it’s about developing framework collaboratively. It starts when I say collaboratively, that’s across the organisation. So develop a benefit tracking framework and calculation in the beginning, ensure that our finance and business and performance and service operations and commissioning colleagues are involved from the start. All of those are part of the picture and develop and refine the key principles of measurement. So for us, it was those outcomes at the beginning and turning them into actually measurable things. So for us avoidance of dom care, increased and residential nursing are some of the central things, but there are things around it. The second pillar is robust evidence base. So all of that data collecting becomes a very strong base around how we can then use that, to understand the particular impacts at any point in time.
And that we have those dashboards for reporting that the tech savings database contains saving estimates from care managers for each and every referral. So when we say, what are you not doing? That’s recorded. We’re able to measure that. And we use the care records to actually measure that. And then we build a date. And then the third column is we built a data truism user by user approach to calculate into deliberate savings. So when we say Mrs Miggins, we didn’t increase the domicilary care for that individual. We actually measure that over the course of a year and note that impact. And we’ve got the historical normal projection of somebody’s care pathway. That gives us a balance of about measuring that and savings are calculated on that basis. So what that gives us at the end of the year, if you moved on.
So for each of our cohorts, it’s split into older adults and younger adults. What that enables us to do is to take the numbers of installations that we’ve achieved over the course of that year. We are able to then push out those where there’s people who are full cost payers, so partial payers, and don’t include them in this. And there’s a whole range of categories that are excluded from this calculation. What it enables us to do is to actually one measure the benefit within that year that’s delivered in that year. We only measure it over the course of the year. And so we get two figures. One is what we know we’ve realised during that year. And then the second one is projected because somebody may have been given a service at the end of the year, but we calculate over the course of a year.
So we then project that based on the previous year’s accuracy. So in this case, this example, 69%, so 69% of the potential gives us the projected saving. And then we then calculate that at the end of that year. And that, that gives us the full, the actual figure for that particular year. So the potential gross deficiency in this terms for older adults is 4.8 million. So if you move on, as an example around younger adults, the numbers are much smaller because the case, the numbers are smaller. Again, realising 234,000 in the year with a projected gross efficiency, additionally, another 397, which gives us the total projected gross sufficiency of 630. So if you move on, this is then the final calculation for the year, which gives us the net cost efficiency which if those figures are added together 2.4 of actually realised we’ve calculated that.
And then the tail end of that years efficiencies comes up at 5.4. We then take off the cost of the service delivered there. And that gives us the potential net cost efficiency that is then ratified at a later point once we’ve got the full figures, but that, that then gives us that, that actual realise for the year. And it’s pretty accurate. We very rarely round this down. Most often, it probably goes up because the accuracy is, is more accurate. These are very conservative figures that we cut off at very conservative rates. We don’t let it run on forever and ever. We say the maximum we’re ever going to be measuring an impact on the financial benefit is for one year. And that gives us that figure. Other than that, above that, that’s the financial side of things.
But if you move on to the next slide, we do collect a lot more information than this. So our picture of benefits is, is much broader than this, this whole area is sorry. Someone’s from right in front of my screen. So this area is what we want to be able to demonstrate that actually the service isn’t just about money, it’s more about satisfaction. So, so we look at we survey service users. So we sent out in this case 884 surveys to service users got 38% response rate, which is very good. And you can see on the side there that the responses there are fairly self-evident in terms of people’s view of the service. So if you move on again, please we all started at undertake what I like to call it a 360 degree feedback on the service.
So we ask our senior leaders within the organisation. So this is all, all of our members of our senior management team and our department or management team, what they, how they view various aspects of the service that we provide. And that’s both in the internal part of that and our partnership. So we look at things like the ambition and outcomes for the relationship framework, how we work strategically, our approach to innovation, all those sorts of things. And whilst on this occasion, we didn’t hit them at the KPI of 90% satisfaction, 85% satisfaction. I think after seven years is pretty good going and think so if you move on to the last one slide, and it’s just this one, we, we also survey referrers. So we survey based on their day to day work.
And we also survey them about the training that we provide. And what we find is generally the response to that is very good. And again, these are the sorts of response after a number of years of doing it. We’ve got a lot of experience of actually working with our colleagues, part of that is making sure that the training is very good and runs on a regular basis, but also that issue about being responsive and quick to respond to people and being flexible and understanding the needs of our professional stakeholders in terms of delivering the services. So that is a extremely quick run through of our approach to benefits realisation. I suspect that there’s probably lots of questions from that. I’m happy to answer them in the plenary session at the end. And I think if we move on, I’m handing over to Julie Eshleman.
[Julie Eshleman] Thank you very much for that Mark. That was very interesting. And I think probably some of my talk will build on a little bit of the last part that you talked about. So, hello, good morning. I’m joining jointly as a PhD researcher through University of Stirling, as well as a consulting researcher with Leonard Cheshire, to talk a little bit about how we have measured and shared progress on a few of our technology projects in one specifically which has kind of been the catalyst for our processes in my talk today. So I’ll give as a brief description as I can, about how we at Leonard Cheshire have approached our assistive technology change projects with a very qualitative lens. We had a funder who was looking for a very different way for us to report how the project was going.
And, and we talked a lot about organisational metrics, so he thought all very interesting, you know, the costs and, you know, the impact to the organisation, but actually I want to know how lives were changed. So we’ve taken a very different approach to talking about this project for this site, and then just more broadly in the organisation, what it means for people. So I think that’s a little bit of background, but, but I’d like for us to play a very short video to show the project, just to give you a little bit of an idea of what it looks like. And then I’ll expand a little bit on this, but on the next slide, I believe is a video, which is part of our first year in the first year project report that went to the funder to kind of describe some of the changes seen in the project. So I think we’re going to play about the first minute, minute and a half or so.
[Video] And knowledge at hill house I’m Dave Hursthouse. I’m the assistive technology project manager here at Hill House in Sandbach, it’s a residential home for 24 residents with complex physical and communication difficulties. The first year we’ve been focusing on the activities and improving social inclusion opportunities, and that has been clearly driven by the coronavirus pandemic. We’re now focusing on the personal assistive technology in the residence rooms and that’s going to be a very person centric focus.
I am Steve Tyler director of assistive technology at Leonard Cheshire. What I wanted to do was to put together a holistic approach. Technology can be a game changer if we get technology, right, it really can change people’s lives immeasurably.
We look into some mainstream technologies, that kind of stuff that you might see in your own home. We’ve got interactive touch, screen TVs, PCs, virtual reality headsets. And some of the most exciting stuff that we’re looking at is some augmented and alternative communication for some of our residents who struggle with verbal communication, this quite literally could be life changing
My name’s Jen Sweeney I’m the regional fundraising manager for North England.
[Julie Eshleman] Thank you. So our department came across a quote from an IBM training manual that said for people with disabilities or for people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. And for people with disabilities, technology makes things possible. And we have really found that to be the best way to think about how we’re using technology. It is a tool. It’s very easy when talking about technology and transformation and change to see technology as the goal, right? More devices, more stuff. But it isn’t, it is a tool by which we can achieve our goals or we can equip other people to achieve their goals. So you can tell how that kind of changes what you want to look at when you’re measuring impacts on. If the goal is to get devices in, there are very easy, quantifiable ways to see if you’re progressing. But if you look at technology as one of the tools for making progress, you have to be a little bit more exploratory in capturing the changes that tell the story of your project and your progress.
So we know that social care is and will continue to be a slightly resource constrained sector. And technology is going to have to be part of bigger conversations about how we equip people to build the lives they want with a variety of tools and supports. So in Leonard Cheshire, we set up one of our sites, which you just saw in the video as a technology center of excellence. And we think, but, you know, we wanted to set up a hub where we could set up and demonstrate a best case scenario for how technology could be used for people to build the lives and experiences that they want on a daily basis. So from there, we wanted to learn what kinds of things might scale out to less intensely resource site, like those that were not going to have a dedicated project team, how can we capture and demonstrate the art of what’s possible throughout the organisation?
So we were looking at things like, what kinds of infrastructure would we need to carry a project like this to other sites? What kinds of tools would help us to do this efficiently and to do this well? And, and really we had to be very exploratory about what does good even look like. Because we started thinking we were aiming to very aiming at very specific outcomes. And as soon as we started, we realised we really had no idea how much value people were going to get. We really, we didn’t anticipate what was going to really come from this if I could have the next slide, please.
Thank you. So, since we’re looking at technology as the tool to achieve goals we wanted some organisational objectives that felt like the priorities of the people who would use those tools making it those into our goals. You know, we want to provide tools that help people meet their own goals in their care plans and things like that. So we knew that capturing impacts will be completely dependent on their experience and not just of the technology and the devices and their uses, but also kind of the processes by which we make sure they’re getting what they want out of those tools. So we asked we used a combination of surveys, in-person interviews and chats with families and care teams, kind of reviewed care plans to try to find opportunities for using technology as a tool to build some of the goals and to meet some of their objectives for the kind of life and experiences that they wanted.
So our first approach was talk to people, do some surveys. We learned so much about project planning and, and revealed so many outcomes that were important that we didn’t really know to aim for and wouldn’t have captured well. If we hadn’t just been talking to people who are going to be using the technology. So in addition, we asked questions like, what is important to them? What are their fears in this space about technology? What are their, some of their experiences with technology? How much do they know about the art of what is possible with different devices that are available now, and how much, and what kinds of technology do people use now? How big is the distance that we’re trying to close to bring people from where they are now to where we think they might really benefit from using technology as a tool for themselves, and how easy will it be with other kinds of support to use tools like this?
So it was pretty easy to collect data like that. We can use tools like Survey Monkey or Microsoft Forms there. It’s dead easy to manage data that way and get it all together. But then you can also use kind of asynchronous methods. Like if you’ve heard of Jamboards, it’s like an interactive whiteboard and people can put, you can share the link and people can put like sticky, virtual, sticky notes with their comments or answers to different questions. And that way people don’t have to all be live or times don’t have to sync up in order to take those data. People can add to it as, as they want or you can ask care teams to add to it if they want. So there is a linked on this slide. So when they share the slides, you should be able to click and look at a Jamboard that I’ve made to kind of gather data from a lot of people.
But it’s quite good to be able to start charting out responses and patterns that you see in people’s answers and, and decide how you want to use that information. So, one easy way that I usually use is to kind of go through notes from interviews and different conversations that we’ve had with people in any survey information that we’ve gathered. And, and quite literally count how many times a certain theme or a certain concept comes up to sort of demonstrate how strong and how prevalent that sentiment might be in the organisation. But also to kind of capture details cause those can be really helpful as well, little kind of one-off comments that maybe only one person brought up, but really points to a part of our process or technology use or our understanding of these tools. That’s really important for us and can really be an opportunity for us to make a change.
So we discovered a lot of outcomes that we wouldn’t have considered or thought about at all if people hadn’t pointed them out to us. So we were looking for improvement in independence for people or decreases in staff time. But, but what we found was people really just wanted more choices. They, they like how their lives are arranged, but they want more ways to do the things that they’re already doing. We wouldn’t have thought about capturing some of the outcomes in those terms, but it’s, but it’s been quite powerful. So one of the things that I think about is it’s important to have some defined outcomes in advance, but also be very exploratory and be prepared to be told what’s important. If I could have the next slide, please move to my quick top tips. So our first one was just start, you know, we, we kind of found that perfect planning is the enemy of good planning, and you can spend forever really deciding how you want to start a project.
What kinds of, you know, waiting until you’ve defined the perfect outcomes and have all of your measurement tools to start. But actually we found just start, we didn’t know what kinds of wonderful things would happen. We thought we had an idea, like I said, more independence, maybe better control over environment, daily routines, better social connectivity. But we didn’t really know until it was in place and happening. And until we spoke with people who were actually experiencing it. So, especially with something like technology, as quickly as this space is moving, kind of the perfect planning is the enemy of good delivery. So one of my big tips is just start, try something and be really flexible so that you can adjust it’s okay to have, to not have all of your outcomes very clearly defined and have a very crystal clear business case.
We found the harder, we tried to really define in advance what we wanted to achieve. The more it felt like we were missing the mark a little bit on accident or, or felt like it really limited us in the end on capturing. What’s actually important to people. We think that we’re working towards something that turns out maybe not to matter to people unless we check with them. So, so don’t let perfect planning be the enemy of good progress. You can run a danger of planning forever and innovating. Never if you’re not careful. So, so big recommendation is just start. The next one is be curious. It, it’s easy to measure what’s easy to count instead of what really matters. So I would recommend ask questions that matter when you’re talking to people and when, whether it’s for scoping a project or whether it’s for capturing your outcomes along the way, don’t look for information that you don’t intend to use.
Talk to the people, experiencing the outcomes that really matter often that there are staff outcomes that you’re looking for. There are business outcomes that you’re looking for and then user experience outcomes. But these can’t, the user outcomes are very difficult to define at an organisational level because as we know, it’s so personal everybody’s priorities are so different and everyone’s looking to build a very different kind of experience for themselves. Therefore they all need different kinds of supports and tools to get there. So, so making sure that you understand what the important outcomes are for tech users and what they want to get out of the technology is extremely important. And then kind of once you have those outcomes and their priorities, then reverse engineering the best ways to create those outcomes rather than starting from what you want to build and hoping the outcomes align.
In the end, we found a load of challenges that were completely outside the scope of an assistive technology project. So things like customer journey challenges, and marketing and brand marketing and brand things, customer experience of other kinds of supports and processes that had nothing to do with our technology. So organisational leadership buy-in is really critical so that what you uncover through the process of this very qualitative approach can be heard by the right people. We have found that if, if we do this very well, we don’t just make our technology processes better, but we also have the opportunity to really innovate across the whole organisation based on the information that we collect. So it’s important to make sure that you have a governance structure in your research or in, in the way that you’re collecting qualitative data like this that will allow for the answers you find to go to a place where they can be actioned.
If you find out that there are huge issues with service delivery or procurement processes or funding, you know, if you ask questions about it and people share their feedback with you, they generally expect for you to address it. So be careful what you wish for and be careful what questions you ask, but, but do make sure you want to be you want, you want to action. The things that you discover across the course of this. The next is learning and adjust, use kind of a continuous learning and pilot testing cycle to really maximise what you can learn and try listen to people experiencing and delivering those processes and make sure that you have enough information that you don’t too far toward what works best for the organisation, or what works best for users. There’s always a middle ground and you can find it by listening to everybody who is involved.
And then the last one I would say is, is to plan your measurement tools as you’re, as you’re delivering. So the quality of life is a really important often overlooked metric when you’re looking at what kinds of impacts we’re having. So there are a lot of options for capturing this, but it does come down to talking to people. So that’s my biggest recommendation. Don’t underestimate the power of case studies capture enough information to tell stories about change. These really bring life to the work that you’re doing and makes your data very relatable using a variety of case studies to demonstrate how very different, but equally meaningful impacts can be for people in their families is very compelling. So for my last slide, please I’ve noted just a few of the questions that we have found that reveal a good deal of information in depth. So I won’t read them to you. It’s a very short list, but a very good starting point. If you haven’t done a lot of chatting with people who are experiencing these services before, this is, these are pretty good starting places to really get some very rich information. So thanks so much. That was a very, very quick, quick overview to start with qualitative data. I appreciate you listening and I will now happily hand across to Sam with Suffolk County Council.
[Sam Bassett] Thanks, Julie. And that was really interesting. Video was amazing by the way. Hi everybody, I’m Sam Bassett. I’m the digital care and innovation lead for Suffolk County Council. And what I’m going to do is give you a bit of a whistle-stop tour. We’ve just implemented a new care technology service as of July this year. So what I want to do is take you to the pre pre-service benefits piece up to the current day, what we’re doing now. So hopefully there’s a little of something for all of you at whatever point you’re at in terms of your caretake journey, whether you’re thinking about new service, whether you’re reviewing an existing one in terms of the benefits methodology. So next slide, please.
So just to give some background around what’s happening in Suffolk all of our work is through the digital care program, which I lead. We’ve launched this new service would have described, which is called Cassius. So you will see the branding everywhere. That’s beautiful branding I’ve everywhere on all my slides. Historically Suffolk had struggled to have a foothold with traditional Telecare or assistive tech offer. We had various pockets of activity, but it didn’t really grab the county by the scruff of the neck. So we didn’t have a large incumbent Telecare offer, which is probably fortuitous for us, which meant we could be a bit more visionary in what we wanted to do. So there’s a few things in terms of the service that we’re delivering, which might be slightly different to some approaches, which might be of note or interest.
So we’ve got a real passion around using data, not just around the service delivery, but around data from devices to support better outcomes for people. We have ownership of the assessment. So instead of outsourcing that to a number function, what we envisioned is that digital care is just part of care. So all of our practitioners should understand it and be able to access it as they would any other type of provision to support somebody to have a best possible outcome. We’ve got a focus on software as well as hardware. So it’s not just about the tangible items that we put in people’s homes. We think that software is going to play an increasingly important part in people’s lives around the Caretech offer. And much like Mark described, we have this kind of systemic approach where we want to influence all of our partners in the care and health system in Suffolk.
So health VCS to care markets, a massive one, other districts and boroughs. If we could get a uniform offer through our service, then we’ll probably get greater efficiency in terms of benefits being delivered. So next slide please, El, and the next one, very beautiful colourful slides. So before we started procurement, we needed to build a business case for Caretech. And as I’ve described, as Suffolk hadn’t had much success, it was a fairly new thing for us. So we, we could see from other work in the market. And I think this is an important point as well, is that there’s so much stuff happening and there are so many examples of good practice, we don’t always need to pilot or test and learn. We can, you know, you can reflect on what’s happening elsewhere. We could see that there was good opportunity for savings and for improved outcomes.
So we started to implement a culture change model immediately. We drafted a strategy around that we started to influence our workforce using champions networks and other enablers to get them to start to consider digital care as a thing that they should be using. And then we embedded a benefits mechanism, through a referral pathway around quantifying the savings element. And we could see a small scale, but it was it was having an impact, not just in terms of outcomes, but in terms of supporting our care purchasing budgets as well. And so we took the decision strategically to take a bit of a risk and to just scale that up, because we thought that it’s a risk worth taking, you know, technology is not going to go away. Connectivity is not going away. This is an opportunity which we should be building on. We could see a small scale with valuable, so let’s try and extrapolate it. We did some very rough figures and we came up with a savings target for digital care around 5 million across three years. When we went out to market and tested that against providers, they were all very confident that you can make that and more, which is reassuring. Next slide, please.
So in terms of procurement itself and this might not be relevant for all of you, but for those of you who are looking to undertake a procurement or look to develop a new service, the way which we approached the procurement, we wanted flexibility. So we wanted to develop a partnership as a Cassius, as a partnership of several different organisations. And we have, it’s not traditional supplier commissioner where we’re quite open, transparent, collaborative, because we want to use your expertise from our partners to offer the best service. And that includes their expertise around benefits realisation, what they’d done before. And we used a competitive procedure and negotiation, which meant that we had flexibility to amend our specification and what we were looking to do, which meant that we weren’t really prescriptive and we weren’t disabled by the prescriptive requirements, which we put in a specification. There’s something here for me around us as commissioners, trying to define what we want and it becoming slightly arbitrary. And we won’t realise growth in service because we restricted parameters, which we think are reasonable, but there’s lots of opportunity in this space to say the least next slide, please El.
And the next, more beauty. OK. So when we started the service, which was in July this year, we, we did some baselining – it’s really important to baseline. We had some baseline around financials from the work we’d done previously, but I’ve described around practitioner input, quantifying cashable cost avoidance. We did some specific targeted activity with users of Caretech through our service already to baseline what their experience about service was. So that meant that when we start the new service, we can reflect on what we had before and whether we are achieving success and iterating on what we had previously. In terms of the reporting architecture might feel a little bit boring, but really important. We are using only two repositories of data to make sure it’s as lean as possible. So we have one of our partners is Alcove – you might be familiar with them – a software and hardware company.
We use their CRM for all of the data around devices and fulfillment. And we use our case management system, which is Liquid Logic in this case. So we have these two data sources, two single sources of truth, no spreadsheets, no nonsense, anywhere. Everything is recorded in either one of those sources. And we have mechanisms to transfer between those sources through upload or we’re using RPA actually, which is a really beautiful tool to support the cultural piece in terms of benefits. So practitioners just record the benefits in their normal referral form. RPA takes it and pushes it into Alcove’s system. So it’s completely seamless. In future, we’ll develop a common data service, which sits between those and we can push and pull as much information as we want across systems. And that will support our data piece. Next slide, please El.
OK. So when we started the service, there were so many things that we wanted to measure because we were very excited about all of the opportunities. So we just, we drafted this huge list and we realised most of it was MI. And actually in terms of KPIs, we’ve only got 12. We didn’t want to the previous point around procurement, be overly prescriptive and arbitrary and what we’re measuring to restrict the service. And especially considering it we’re using it as a partnership model. So we had this big list of MI. We went through what was most useful here and now. And we were business led in a lot of that. We engage with different parts of the business to say, okay, well, what would be useful for you to know? And then we had, obviously our own interpretation of some of the things that were useful and we focused on those things initially with a view to picking up the other ones as time goes on.
And as the service develops, next slide, please El. So this is a very lean slide, but a lot of to talk about this is Tony – a genuine Suffolk resident using one of his care phones to keep in touch with loved ones, which is really nice. So we measure so many different things and I’ll just give you a real whistle-stop tour. But the quality of service, obviously through the contractual KPIs through surveys that we do internally with our staff and with people who we provide care tech to and we have culture change mechanisms. I could write a book on culture change but I won’t because no one would buy it, but we measure culture change through lots of different mechanisms including how many people are trained, how many referrals are trained, the baseline knowledge of a referral, the confidence of a referral all of these things around the quality of a service.
So we can be ensured that we are providing a good level of outcome to the people in Suffolk. Quality of life is the other really important one. So outside of the obvious care act, outcomes, and eligibility part there’s a softer benefit stuff. So we, again, we baseline, sorry to keep using that phrase, but it’s really important when we do an installation, we ask people a few questions, very, very slim. So how connected do you feel? How safe do you feel? What’s your well-being and independence. And then once we’ve given them the Caretech intervention, we then check back in after a month and we say, how’s that how’s, that Caretech support, you’d have a better quality of life. So that soft stuff is sometimes difficult to capture and measure, but it’s the most important stuff. And it’s the stuff which will incentivise your culture change in your business and the system, because it’s the stuff that people really care about, which then gets developed into case studies, then the most powerful tool really to support your cultural change piece.
And then the financials a lot has already been covered by Mark and Clare, but we measure a cashables, of course, cost avoidance, delay and prevention, all of those things using various different mechanisms and what we are doing to be assured that what we are seeing is a true reflection of activity is checking against control group. And we’ve done that in a way, but we’re using the rest of our service users as the control group, we are lining up similar cost packages, similar need people against eligibility scores and we are sense checking is the Caretech intervention, providing us a financial benefit up or down all the same against people who have the same level of need either at the point of service or reporting of review. And what we are seeing is absolutely there is a clear distinction. You give people Caretech, it supports them to have a better outcome.
Gives them more choice, control, flexibility, all that good stuff around Caretech, but it gives you a financial impact, both cashable and cost avoidance, and it delays further services. So you can keep people in place for longer at home, more independent. So that’s really reassuring for us. Of course, we’re seeing a significant level of financial benefit actually from the early days of the service. There’s lots of interesting stuff we are doing is all in power BI. I’m not going to show you all of it because there’s sensitive customer data in there, but I’m more than happy to pick up conversations with you individually if it’s of interest to you, I will show you one slide from power BI, which is the next slide, which is slightly frivolous, but very interesting. And this is around taking data to be intelligence. So this is where we are mapping all of the different deployments.
So we’ve started from a baseline of zero because we didn’t have incumbent. So we’ve gone from zero to about 500 devices now in the last five months, which is really encouraging growth for service. And we are plotting them on a map of Suffolk to see where they are. So what we can see is that, of course, but the urban centres in Suffolk Ipswich, Bury, Lowestoft, have lots of deployments as you might expect. But culturally, what we get from this in terms of intelligence is I can see some areas that have more in the rurality than they should. And that’s because we have put more time and effort into supporting the teams that cover those rural areas. And so we can see a tangible increase in referral rates from where we have an impact culturally, with certain teams where you might not expect to see as much activity in our geography.
So this is really interesting. We measure literally everything, but you can start to take the MI that you think is useful data to support the service. And you can start to look into intelligent trends, which enable your service to grow and be more agile. So be as data driven as you can next slide, please. Top tips – get a good analyst. We’ve got an absolutely fantastic analyst who we secured, right from the outset who was involved in our procurement. If we didn’t have that analyst capacity, we wouldn’t have made as much progress as we have. And there’s a fine art in your benefits realisation piece between science, hard cold data, which is really accurate and the art stuff. So the conceptual stuff, things that you want to test, things that you think are assumptions that we need to trial and having an analyst to have some capacity to do conceptual stuff outside of the busy day-to-day job of doing statutory returns and everything else getting that resource is really important so build that into your benefits piece.
As I’ve mentioned, we collect data about literally every single thing we could possibly collect it all, but we don’t use it all better to have it, and not need it than to need it and not have it. So we collect a lot and we tailor it. So what we need and to who we need to present it to using power BI or whatever else. And we have a long view, which is data to intelligence piece. Another really good example of this was that when do people refer most? So we want to see a growth in service is quite new. Some weeks we get to a first, there would be like, oh, we haven’t done as many referrals as we did last week. And then we’d see a big increase. So we actually mapped when the most people refer as you might expect a Friday because they want to do it before the weekend or before we go away.
And then on a Monday when they get back and they realise they’ve got lots of work on our case load. So when we get to Thursday, we don’t panic because we know we’ll probably get quite a lot of referrals on a Friday, but having all of that data in our different data repositories that enabled us to have an intelligent view about what’s happening, the things that we might normally just not even consider. Automation, as I’ve mentioned, RPA has been a huge success for us. If you can make things as automated as possible, the cultural piece, it brings down the barriers that people might put in front of accessing the service, which we want them to, because it provides people better outcomes. Be, agile, validate, audit and keep reviewing, because it gives you credibility. So what we have now is showing some really good stuff that’s happening in Suffolk, but we’re not going to rest on our laurels.
We’re going to keep challenging ourselves and our methodology and iterating, auditing, sense checking so that we can continue to make sure that we have a really credible set of numbers. We’re not just going to assume if we make a saving of, I don’t know, 10 pounds device today, there’s always going to be 10 pound a device because we want to be able to be accurately relaying back credibly to the strategic leaders in Suffolk, what is happening and the true level of value which we’re generating. And the last one is I would highly recommend the partnership approach. It’s the approach that we’ve taken and it won’t suit everybody, but using the expertise and the intelligence, which is already out in the marketplace, we don’t all need to design the same things over and over use other people’s experience and expertise. You’re more likely to have a better set of outcomes. You can’t assume that as a commissioner, as an organisation you know, best. So you use other people’s intelligence and a partnership approach. And I think now handing back to Clare, hopefully that was interesting. Thanks all.
[Clare Morris] Wow, thanks guys. That was just amazing. I said, yeah, lots of handclaps it’s kind of just really. So, so much in all that you said I’m going to cluster together, so I’ve got a few little specific questions for Sam and Mark kind of quite detailed things we can get through quite quickly. And then there’s some bigger kind of theoretical questions that I’d just like to pick up. And do feel free we’ve got about 15 minutes of discussion and chat now guys. So feel free to, as we’re talking to put more things in. Mark Sam, Julie, do you want to come back on camera? So Mark – should I just throw a few at you first? I’m not sure if you saw some of these. So there was a question for you Mark about who provides and installs the tech. Is it in-house or outsourced?
[Mark Allen] Like Sam, we’ve got a partnership. We’ve got a very long established partnership. I totally agree with everything you said at the end there. It’s about using the expertise in the sector social care organisations or social care organisations. We’re not Microsoft or Amazon. And it’s about bringing in the expertise to help us support that. So it’s, it’s, it’s a joint venture.
[Clare Morris] I think you could say who it’s with. If you don’t want to, but
[Mark Allen] PA Consulting at a group called Argenti, but it’s led by PA Consulting.
[Clare Morris]OK. There was on one of your slides. It said excluding dementia, brain injury, just checking please, children. There was some questions about why those things were excluded. Yeah.
[Mark Allen] Basically, because we’ve determined that it’s incredibly difficult to measure the financial impact there. So if you take dementia, for example, we’ve got a very specific dementia pathway, which is people who will first receive a diagnosis of dementia. They don’t necessarily have a social care package. So when you’ve got somebody hasn’t got social care package, it’s very difficult to measure the benefit, the financial benefit of delivering that services to social care because they’re not at your door yet. So we’ve just taken a very prudent, conservative approach in terms of the financials or other things we will measure up. But the financials that doesn’t sit on our doorstep, so we don’t measure it. It’s very pragmatic.
[Clare Morris]Yeah. I kind of really important. I think for the audience that, you know, not everything has to be
[Mark Allen] There’s massive other, benefits, loads, and loads for the people that receive those services. But financially we won’t make that claim because we can’t justify it.
[Clare Morris] OK. And just one more quick one for you, Mark so the question from Douglas about, do you take account of the loss of client contributions when you’re calculating?
[Mark Allen] Yeah, we, we exclude that. So if somebody is making a contribution we tend to remove that from that cohort. So people who fund their own care, we don’t measure that because it’s not a financial benefit to us. So there’s work taken to identify those people through our care management system. And they’re excluded from that calculation.
[Clare Morris] Thank you. Sam, I’m just gonna throw a few quick fire ones at you. So does Cassius include a monitoring and response service.
[Sam Bassett] Yes is does.
[Clare Morris] Did you produce a specialist JD for your analyst? And if so, could you share it?
[Sam Bassett] No, we didn’t. But no,
[Clare Morris] But you hand picked that person didn’t you?
[Sam Bassett] We did hand pick him because of his skills. I’m happy to set up conversation with set analyst with anybody if they’re interested.
[Clare Morris] Okay. Who does the one month check-in, is it a social worker or provider?
[Sam Bassett] That’s our provider. So we’ve tried to push as much into our provider as possible again, to reduce the cultural barriers for the business and to give them some reassurance that the service has been managed.
[Clare Morris] Thank you. And number of requests, if you were happy to show your service specification and the monitoring requirements within that, we’ve directed people to the K hub, but yes, monitoring has changed quite a lot. Hasn’t it? So, yeah,
[Sam Bassett] It has. Yeah. So happy to pick up any conversation with anyone about that, as you said, the specification is on the K Hub, so you can go and have a look at what we asked the market for, but I’m happy to pick up any individual conversations or link in procurement colleagues, analysts, my team, whoever it might be useful to speak to. Okay.
[Clare Morris] Are you happy for someone to put your email in the chat so that people can follow up with you afterwards if they want to?
Lovely. OK. Just a few questions and Julie, I’ll come to you in a moment, but particularly for Mark and Sam around some of the mechanics. So some questions about how you get the social workers to do the benefits assessment and is it mandatory? You know, how, how does that actually work and how do people not just not do it?
[Mark Allen] I, well if I jump in our social workers don’t do the benefits assessment, ask them to do is to say what they are. We, we, we build on their skills. So their skills are around assessing the needs of individuals and helping that individual construct a care package for themselves. So we say to them, what are you going to, what are you doing? And what aren’t you doing? We then do the work around the benefits that we don’t ask social workers to do that. Cause they’re not accountants.
[Clare Morris] Yes, but they give you the information to do that. Don’t they?
[Mark Allen] Yes, that’s part of the referral process. And we insist on that
[Clare Morris] And that’s just to be clear, that is in the referral form, it’s in, it’s in the system. So it’s kind of hardwired in, they can’t just skip over it or ignore it.
[Mark Allen] Nope. It goes back if this, if they don’t do it, it goes back.
[Sam Bassett] Yeah. Similar approach and glad somebody asked this question, because I forgot to talk about it. But so some of the information which we want in terms of benefits will already be in the assessment, but specific stuff around the potential cost avoidance, the saving, what they would have done had they not put in the Caretech, we ask them to put that in this, in the referral form, there’s a cultural thing there. We don’t normally ask the business to quantify stuff like that. So that’s why we started a bit early before our service started. And we measure that in a number of different ways against control groups to make sure it’s accurate. We judge how, what percentage of people are doing that to make sure that it’s not dropping off cause the more accurate, the more intel we get around that, the more benefit we will get. And we are moving into a level of automation where we are aggregating the average cost per device, from what practitioner told us, we have a level of confidence. Eventually we won’t have to ask them because we will know we have had a thousand people tell us every time it saves always 400 pounds or within a range. So we can start to take that out again to make it culturally better for our practitioners to refer.
[Clare Morris] Brilliant. Thank you. And Julie have to see that there was a question about your ability to share some of it, but I see you’ve pointed people to the Leonard Cheshire page. Are you happy for us to just pop your email address in as well, if anyone wants to follow up with you directly and I can put a couple more links in as well, but that might be interesting. Brilliant. Thank you. That’s great. Okay. just more broadly then there was a question right up front, which I thought was interesting about language and saying, is it is it better important that we talk about impact and outcome rather than benefits? And is there any subtlety around that? I don’t know if anyone has a view or not. I’ve noticed we’ve all naturally fallen into the language of impact and outcomes today, which is interesting. But when we’re doing business cases, we tend to talk about benefits. Don’t we? Any comments on that from any,
[Sam Basset] I guess I more frequently, even though we speak about outcomes I guess you tailor your approach depending on who you’re engaging with. And I think that we will probably touch on that in our presentations around making it specific to your, to your audience. I mean, you know, anecdotally, what has been of interest to me is that I assumed strategically the most important thing or the thing which would get most attention would be the savings, because that’s significant, but actually what people want is case studies. They want to know, what does that look like for somebody on my caseload? Can you tell me a good example where somebody had an improved outcome or a good quality of life? So I think it’s just a case of tailoring it, but most of the outcomes for us.
[Mark Allen] Yes, I would say in terms of business cases, I think I agree with Sam in terms of the range of things that we’re asked to do, but I know when I do anything that’s at scale, I have to present a business case and the harsh reality of that business case, it needs to be demonstrated that it’s actually making savings currently. So we blend in the whole issue of actually it’s a benefit to individuals because it has to be, I mean, we’d probably not be doing it otherwise. But the harsh reality. So for example, we, we do not work around our cobalt programme at the moment. The business case for that was demonstrating that they would soak the council money by doing it. If we hadn’t been able to do that we wouldn’t, we wouldn’t have got approval to do it, but I go back to what Sam said in his presentation.
It’s about credibility. And that alongside that there is a, there is a credibility equation that says, if you’re putting together a business case, have you got a credible basis in which you’re working? We have that actually helps build the business case quite effectively. So when you’re trying to innovate being able to do it from a very solid platform is really important. And so I think, you know, the points that Sam’s raised is really important because those are the qualitative elements of that business case that gives it credibility. And the two go hand in hand.
[Clare Morris] Thank you. I’m just going to pick up a couple of quick ones, finally. We are running close to time. There’s been a couple of requests for how much here in Suffolk to share how much you’re investing on a per annum basis, how much you’re spending on your services. I don’t know if that’s something that you feel able to share but I would encourage you to do so because it’s really hard for councils to know what, what they should be spending on this and, and persuade others. So some benchmarking helpful.
[Mark Allen] I would, I would say there’s a real caveat about this as a health warning on it because different organisations, different approaches have cost different amounts. So we let our contract for over 10 years, it’s 67 million. Now we’re not spending that ourselves. We built in plenty of headroom that we could do other things elsewhere, but we would probably spend given all of the stuff we do about three and a half million a year, but we support on a regular basis. That’s with a client base of about 14,000. And these are all people who’ve got care needs, and we’re a very big authority.
[Clare Morris] And you don’t charge, do you?
[Mark Allen] Don’t charge.
[Clare Morris] Oh, absolutely. You’ve demonstrated it washes its face many times already. And do you get any contributions from partners into those costs yet?
[Mark Allen] No. Well, we, we sell some services, we provide services to others, so it’s not contributions as in people just making it. It’s actually, we do provide a service for others which helps contribute to that.
[Clare Morris] Okay. Sam, are you happy to share?
[ Sam Bassett] Yeah. Similar to, to what Mark’s described? So our, our forecast costs for the next few years and given this is a new service starting this year, about one and a half million a year. And again, we, we suspect, we, we know actually already that we will get net benefit from that. And I expect it will grow year on year because it will be variable depending on the level of activity. And we would hope it would continue to grow quite significantly up to a point that seems reasonable. So yeah, hopefully that gives people a kind of a sense.
[Clare Morris] And I think both have framework contracts with headroom, haven’t you, to grow. Just a quick question on actually I’ll skip that one. Any final observations, feedback from any speakers before I hand back to Georgia?
[Mark Allen] Can I just say about the scale of that, I mean, just on that notion that the figures we’ve just given, I think the scale of the organisation is really important though. You know, we’ve got a population of 1.4 million our over 65 population is about, is over 300,000, which is a larger population than a lot of unitary authorities have for their total population. So although it’s a big figure, I wouldn’t be too scared about that because it’s proportionate. So
[Sam Bassett] Yeah, I think the same actually based on that Suffolks’s population, those figures work out pretty much exactly the same cost per person of tech. So hopefully that helps
[Clare Morris] And the fixed and variable cost piece can be tricky content for smaller authorities because there is just some fixed costs that has to be born there. And then the variable costs and technology on top of that. But that’s another masterclass on all of that. I’m sure there’s an appetite for that. Thanks the three of you. I’m going to just hand back to Georgia now to close I’m aware, there are questions we haven’t picked up in the chat around prevention, GDPR, procurement. We will gather those and we will sort of find, find the way to feed back and publish the answer to those questions after the masterclass, but back to you, Georgia.
[Georgia Goddard] Thanks. And thanks to all three speakers for answering those questions El’s now put the slide deck back up. So I hope you can all see that the tools that Clare presented today at the beginning, as well as an accessible recording with subtitles and the slide deck will be available on our CHIP digital resource centre. For those of you who haven’t heard about this site yet, it’s the home of all of our tools, our blogs, our resources that will emerge from this programme of work and it’s continually updated. So please do explore that when you get the links, I think there’s already been one posted in the chat, but it’d be helpful if someone could repost it again. Thank you. It’s also here that you can see the other events are other masterclasses in this series on the events tabs. Someone’s already mentioned that they haven’t got this in their diary.
You do need to sign up separately. So if we go into the next side, El you can see them all here. The next one is digital culture change in January, which has come up with a massive topic in our discussions with councils. We’ll also be covering digital discharge, digital access for all, and working with the care market as part of this for those of you who are interested in the culture change masterclass, I’ve just posted the link in the chat to sign up for that. Next slide please, El. In advance of these these masterclasses, it would be really useful to hear how you found this masterclass so we can improve it the next one. So we’d really appreciate it if you could take a bit of time to fill that out. Now, I think my colleague Jemma is posting the link in the chat.
Apologies. There’s a lot of links coming through. We will include this in an email afterwards as well. And as we’ve already mentioned, if you want to continue these discussions, I know some of you are looking for service specs at the moment, please do visit the Local Government Care Technology Network. This is a closed group of councils where you can share digital experiences, digital projects and I’m sure there will be a lot of discussion about benefits realisation in the next few days. So please do keep an eye on it. I’ll encourage our speakers to join that. So you can ask any questions in our forum there as well. I think the links already been posted for that as well. But I’ll post it in a few seconds just to make sure. Lastly, a big thank you to rethink partners organising this masterclass and producing the amazing tool and thank you for, to El for taking us through the slides, and an even bigger thank you to our amazing guests speakers – Mark ,Julie and Sam, we’re so grateful for you giving up your time today and sharing your expertise with us.
Lots of thank yous coming through in the chat as well. And finally thank you all for attending. We really hope it was useful. If you do want to leave any positive comments or suggestions for the next masterclasses, please do fill in the evaluation form that would really help us. But we really hope to see you at our next masterclass at the end of January on digital culture change.