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Hillingdon Council sets up digital service for hardship grants

14/01/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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Hillingdon Council has built a digital service for winter grant applications at high speed to support residents suffering hardship from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The London borough has used the Goss Digital Platform create an application form and business process for the grants, delivering it in four days in mid-December after the tightening of lockdown restrictions.

It reported that it received 845 applications in the first two days and around 1,500 by the first week of January.

Under the process, an individual makes an application that can be cross-referenced by the council against a list of children qualifying for free school meals. If it is not possible to establish eligibility its staff can check through the platform if the applicants receive any other qualifying benefits. Details of those who are eligible are sent to the payments team.

The applicants are kept informed through email, with a confirming receipt when the case is decided.

Urgent need

Alun Rees, Hillingdon’s channel migration manager, said: “We urgently needed to stand up a new online application service during the Christmas period, which would allow citizens to apply for critically needed financial support.

“We took the opportunity to create and release the digital service on the Goss Digital Platform so customers could apply directly using an intuitive self-service online form, reducing pressure on our customer services team. Using the Goss low code tools, we were able to build the whole end to end business service within four days incorporating online applications and a full case review, approval and processing for our applications team.”

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