Insights from the frontline: Findings from our adult social care user group

It's been an incredibly busy and challenging time for the health and social care sector over the past 12-14 months. We're proud to have supported our customers by streamlining processes to alleviate some of the challenges they've been facing during the pandemic. Our recent adult social care user group gave our customers the valuable opportunity to share best practice and insights with us and each other, as well as enabling us to demonstrate new and important product developments.

Being agile and reacting to customer requests

Since the pandemic began, we’ve reacted quickly and efficiently to customer queries and worked hard to help when needed. To support the shift to virtual and remote working, we’ve set up VPN access so that practitioners and frontline workers could access Care Partner while working remotely from different environments and locations. On behalf of our customers, we’ve extracted data for business continuity plans to provide a transparent view – for example to enable identification of carers that may have needed additional support.

We’ve offered our self-service tool Builder, to enable customers to quickly and efficiently build their own forms and capture new information themselves. And most importantly, with the shift to remote and virtual working that we’ve seen during the pandemic, we’ve supported customers to transition away from paper-based processes and go digital, helping them to realise the full benefits.

Integrated budgets at Oldham Council

Karen Maders, Operational Compliance Manager at Oldham Council, spoke about the organisation’s recent work with Imosphere to adopt an integrated budgets solution, within our Formulate product.

In 2019, the local authority went live with Formulate to allocate funding based on assessed needs. Most recently, we’ve been working with Oldham to implement our integrated budgets solution, an additional module within Formulate. Oldham wanted a more streamlined and structured framework for allocating joint funding. The solution will allow them to calculate a health needs band and a fair suggested funding split for each service user with no additional data recording. This can then be used as the basis for decision-making about their actual funding arrangements, which were previously determined manually by the local authority and CCG.

The solution has been through two days of testing which included a series of 30 cases where a practitioner was involved in the process of reviewing each case. Karen Maders said, “The two days of testing with Imosphere was carried out remotely due to the pandemic, but this was completed smoothly and worked well”.

In terms of next steps for the implementation, the suggested funding split configuration for each health needs band need to be agreed in order to inform funding arrangements. Karen concluded, “So far, it’s working really smoothly, the testing has gone well, and we can see the benefits on all sides with progressing with this. We’re hoping to continue pushing forward the implementation and development over the coming months”.

Individualised care home budgets at Rochdale Borough Council

Michelle Hernon at Rochdale Borough Council spoke about how the authority has recently extended their long-term use of Formulate to support individualised care home budgets. Our Formulate product supports two calculation methods for estimating budgets for registered care homes: standard weekly rates or using the new ‘Dynamic Commissioning’ module.

Prior to adopting Dynamic Commissioning within Formulate, the local authority didn’t have a Resource Allocation System in place for care home budgets, and it had become difficult to negotiate a starting point for funding and a transparent financial allocation based on needs. Dynamic Commissioning covers a range of elements – from hourly rates of care through to hotel costs associated with the placement. Michelle said, “We had discussions with Imosphere around Dynamic Commissioning which started in October 2020, and we went live in April 2021. It was a tight deadline for this project, so we were really happy to go live as planned”.

Dynamic Commissioning has given Rochdale transparency on resource allocation based on each individual’s needs. Michelle said, “The system has allowed us to negotiate a fair rate for complex placements which is something we’ve never had before, this is a huge step forward for Rochdale”.

Event summary

We had some really interesting conversations and insights from our customers and heard about some of the challenges they have been facing. Events like this give everyone a unique opportunity to share best practice and for us to make updates to our products to meet customer needs. To any of our customers, both current and new, please get in touch today if you would like to discuss anything with our team who would be happy to help.