In the area of social care, Medway Council is helping to lead the implementation of a national programme called Putting People First, a new model of self-directed support delivery using a technology solution, CareDirector, from Microsoft partner CareWorks.

Medway Council provides social care for approximately 9,000 citizens, including elderly people and adults with physical, mental, learning, or sensory disabilities.  With self-directed support, qualifying individuals are awarded a personal budget they can use to purchase the services they want in a personalised, flexible support package they develop themselves in cooperation with a Care Manager from the local authority.

In Medway, self-directed support recipients are not restricted to services provided by the council. Clients can buy services from a private day centre, engage a physical therapist, enrol in a college course, employ a personal assistant, or even hire someone to help with their gardening. The goal is to allow individuals to determine their own needs and plan and manage their own support, while maintaining their independence, and their dignity.

According to Bridget Bygrave-Relf, Transformation and Policy Manager at Medway Council, “Self-directed support is a far more complex model of support delivery, because the client has more options. This is a whole new way of working in social care, and we needed a sophisticated IT system to manage it.”

Social care managers at Medway Council use CareDirector to manage all the information related to social care clients who are receiving self-directed support, from a client’s initial assessment through support planning and review to the purchase of care. They use the solution to manage the relationship with each client, managing and recording all client contacts with Medway Council social care services.

Now, with a single record that incorporates information from multiple systems (see screenshot below), care managers can monitor clients’ personal budgets, evaluate whether they are receiving appropriate care, and provide assistance to clients when they need it. Care managers working in the field with clients can use either a portable computer or a mobile device with an Internet connection to connect with CareDirector, so they can refer to files and input information into the system without having to return to the office.

 

CareDirector Portal for Medway Citizens

CareDirector is based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM business software.  Because Microsoft Dynamics CRM interoperates with and incorporates tools that Medway Council employees were already using, such as Microsoft Office Word, Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client software, and Office SharePoint Server, users at Medway Council found CareDirector easy to learn and adopt.

By using CareDirector and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to help implement its self-directed support initiative, Medway Council is making it easier for its social care employees to interact with their clients, care providers, and each other. The council has more flexibility to manage and deploy systems and provide information for its citizens. Most importantly, it is providing some of its most vulnerable citizens the opportunity to improve their own lives through self-directed social care provision.

You can read the full story of Medway Council’s implementation of self-directed social care here

Posted by Ian