User group recap: our guide to maximising self-assessment tools

Last month, Imosphere launched another of our national adult social care user groups. We were joined by over 20 local authorities interested in networking with others and learning more about Formulate and our self-assessment tool for social care.

At the beginning of this year, Imosphere launched version 9 of our strengths-based toolset and Formulate solutions. Version 9 will help support local authorities to balance strengths-based conversations with evidence-based decision-making. A core element of Version 9 is our Self-assessment form – a key strategic tool in helping local authorities manage demand by enabling people with care needs (or their representatives) to ‘self-serve’ online and streamline their assessment journey. Even with the anticipated increase in demand from the Government funding reforms being delayed, implementing the Version 9 Imosphere solutions will empower LAs to future-proof their operations by using a strengths-based approach that was co-developed with other LAs.

Current adoption of self-assessment tool

One local authority spoke about their journey customising the Self-assessment tool to fit with their local way of working. Having carried out several workshops with practitioners, they spoke about changes they have made to the ordering of the questions – for example, moving the finance questions so that citizens or their representatives aren’t deterred from completing the form, and reducing the overall number of headings.

They also spoke about their decision to ensure all Self-assessments are reviewed by the local authority – not just those where the citizen has an indication of eligible needs. This will support a drive to a more prevention-focused approach, allowing the local authority to provide more information and resources to enable citizens to prevent their needs from becoming long-term.

Their feedback will be integral to the evolution of the Self-assessment tool over the coming months.

Blending with local authority systems and processes

A second local authority spoke about their journey upgrading to Version 9, and how the implementation of the Self-assessment tool fits within their overall roadmap.

It’s important that the assessment process is smooth and transparent for any organisation, so simplifying the journey for customers and practitioners is essential. This local authority spoke about the importance of preventing duplicated work. For example, at the end of the process, there is no need to create a separate review document as the assessment can be reutilised as a review or reassessment, as all the data has already been captured at the first stage and stored throughout the care journey. The data entry points added into the assessment mean the person’s needs can be monitored over time, with the data captured complementing the strengths-based approach.

For this local authority, the implementation so far of the Self-assessment tool is also proving successful in pulling together groups of practitioners and citizens to run through the self-assessment process. Involving practitioners and citizens that will be using the tool daily is critical, as any feedback on the assessment form or how processes can be aligned to current ways of working can be taken on board. Empowering the workforce and bringing everyone together has been a success; and by giving people these innovative modern tools to help practitioners in the day-to-day will attract the best talent possible to maintain standards for the social care sector.

Continuing momentum for the future

We have established a working group of LAs to support the continued development of our Self-assessment tools. We want to provide a forum for sharing learning from the great work happening across the country – like the co-production workshops mentioned by the speakers – and to take this on board as we evolve the tools. For example, following our work with the Plain English Campaign – an organisation pioneering for everyone in society to have access to clear and concise information – we’re delighted that our self-assessment forms have been given the Crystal Mark of approval – ensuring that the information we provide to local authorities can be easily understood by all communities.

Our existing customers can request a copy of the full webinar recording here.

If you would like to find out more about our Self-assessment tool and Formulate (our resource allocation solution), get in touch today and we will be happy to discuss how our solutions can support your journey.