Helping people to live safely and independently at home
Adult social care services at Oxfordshire County Council have been transformed following the introduction of a series of ArcGIS apps. The council can now provision new care packages more quickly and deliver care in the community more efficiently to help people live safely and independently at home.
Elderly and disabled people can be matched more quickly with care providers in their localities that can meet their needs.
Young adults with learning disabilities who want to live independently can be allocated appropriate accommodation near to their families.
Adult care social workers can schedule home visits efficiently to reduce travel time, fuel costs and carbon emissions.
Oxfordshire County Council manages the delivery of services for vulnerable citizens across a semi-rural, semi-urban area of over 1,000 square miles. Every year, it helps more than 6,200 people to live safely in their own homes, including those with physical and mental disabilities, elderly people who need long-term or end-of-life care and young adults with learning disabilities who want to live independently.
“Oxfordshire County Council aspires to enable people to live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible. ArcGIS helps us to do this.”
Anne Kearsley, GIS Solutions Manager, Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire County Council began using Esri’s ArcGIS suite in 2017 and now has over thirty web-based and mobile ArcGIS apps that are used across multiple departments. In recent years, the council has focused in particular on using pre-configured app templates within ArcGIS Enterprise to create solutions for adult social care services.
One key solution is an app for adult care sourcing that enables the council’s Live and Age Well team to more easily see the location of someone who needs a new care package; find other people nearby who are already receiving care; and identify the care providers that are already operating in this area that might have capacity to take on a new client in the same locality. The solution is highly secure and restricted to a small group of approved users to ensure compliance with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Another ArcGIS app helps the council to find accommodation for young adults with learning disabilities who want to live independently. The council has 141 premises around the county specifically designated for people with learning disabilities, each with 1 to 5 rooms. One version of the learning disability supported living app allows designated users to find a suitable property and access details about the applicable housing association, while a second version of the app is editable, allowing the commissioning team to show when rooms are available or taken.
Oxfordshire County Council has created a further ArcGIS app to help managers in the adult social worker team schedule repeat visits to clients within 12 months, in line with the council’s performance targets. Each client is colour-coded on an ArcGIS map, depending on the revisit due date, so managers can easily see clusters of ‘red’ revisits that need to take place quickly and nearby ‘orange’ revisits, that are not urgent, but are becoming due. Managers can then group together ‘red’ and ‘orange’ appointments in the same locality and schedule them for the same date to minimise travel time.
In another successful initiative, the council has used ArcGIS Survey123 to create a questionnaire used by council employees and fire service professionals to capture information from vulnerable people in up to 3,800 home visits per year. The app prompts them to discuss smoking, alcohol consumption and issues like clutter in corridors, all of which can be fire risks, and make referrals if appropriate. A second ArcGIS Survey123 form allows citizens to provide information on their gender and situation, anonymously, which the council can then use to evidence equality and diversity.
“Council staff can now have more informed conversations with precisely those care providers that are operating in the right locations and that are best placed to quickly take on a new client in the same area.”
Anne Kearsley, GIS Solutions Manager, Oxfordshire County Council
Faster provisioning of appropriate care
ArcGIS enables Oxfordshire County Council to quickly see which providers are nearest to a new client and able to deliver the right services as soon as possible at the best contractual terms for the council. “There are over fifty care providers operating in the county,” explains Anne Kearsley, GIS Solutions Manager at Oxfordshire County Council. “Council staff can now have more informed conversations with precisely those care providers that are operating in the right locations and that are best placed to quickly take on a new client in the same area.”
More efficient delivery of care in the community
By using ArcGIS to schedule repeat visits to clients’ homes by location, Oxfordshire County Council can ensure that its adult care social workers waste less time travelling around the county and instead spend more time with clients, in their homes. Such has been the success of this particular app that the council is currently planning to build another similar one to show the locations where Ukrainian refugees are living and help it improve the efficiency of its visits to displaced families and their hosts.
Reduced costs and carbon footprint
As the council can now optimise social worker journeys and minimise travel time using ArcGIS, it has been able to reduce expenditure on fuel – a cost saving that is particularly important now, following significant increases in fuel costs. By minimising mileage, the ArcGIS app also reduces the environmental impacts of delivering care in the community. “Our ArcGIS app for scheduling social worker revisits recently received an internal Innovation Award for minimising the council’s carbon impact,” Kearsley says.
Safe, independent living at home
All of the apps created using out-of-the-box ArcGIS functionality are helping the council to support people in their own homes. The living independently app, for example, makes it easier for the council to find appropriate accommodation for young adults with disabilities, while the Survey123 app helps to reduce fire risks in the homes of elderly people. “Oxfordshire County Council aspires to enable people to live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible,” Kearsley says. “ArcGIS helps us to do this.”