Norfolk County Council is working on a plan to interact with users of adult social care online through a portal linked to its Liquidlogic case management system.
This follows the launch of the portal with a wellbeing self-assessment function earlier this month.
Sarah Rank, Norfolk’s head of business and technology for adult social services, and programme lead Andrew Pettitt outlined the developments to UKAuthority.
They said the council is aiming to transact with service users online, through functions for messaging and sharing documentation, as a step towards using digital channels to link the two with care providers.
“It feels like a significant line to cross as it is starting to expose some personal information, so we need it to be secure and robust,” said Pettitt.
Questionnaire and directory
The portal was unveiled on 8 May with a front page link to a wellbeing questionnaire. Users fill in the form and are directed to relevant sections of the county directory of support services.
“The wellbeing questionnaire is about directing people to self-service,” Pettitt said. “If it does not satisfy the need you can do online referrals through the system, where a social worker decides whether it is appropriate to set up an appointment.”
He said that in the following two weeks this had led to about 40 registrations for social care, but that with more than 300 hits it indicated that many users had been able to find details of services that they could follow up themselves.
Norfolk has been working on new functions integrated into the Liquidlogic system for the past year in the second phase of a project that began with the core migration.
“It’s a business led project that is part of the corporate approach to smarter working,” said Rank.
One element of this is the planned deployment of an e-brokerage service through software supplied by Oxford Computer Consultant, through which the council can publish details of the care packages needed for individuals and providers can bid to fulfil them. It is aiming to launch the system in September.
It has also involved the adoption of three mobile apps – for adult and children’s social care and early help – which can be downloaded to devices to enable staff to work offline while away from council offices. The adult app has been implemented with the others scheduled to follow soon.
The council has equipped staff with tablet devices and SIM cards and is promoting the use of existing productivity tools such as Skype and OneNote.
Picture: Cotchobee, CC 3.0 through Wikimedia