Patchwork, our tool to help professionals connect across public services to deliver better results, was announced as a runner up in the Digital category of the The Guardian Public Service Awards 2013, through our work in Staffordshire.
Our partners at Staffordshire County Council has been fantastic and they are doing some great work to make Patchwork happen in their area. We know that Patchwork works even better when people throw their commitment behind it, and Staffordshire are an excellent team to be working with.
Thanks to in particular Nicki Edge, County Commissioner for Community Wellbeing in Staffordshire, and her team for their brilliant work.
The competition was tough for the awards, with a record number of entries received in the 10th year of the awards. You can read about the winner in the Digital category and the rest of the award winners over on the Guardian Public Leaders Network.
Here is the entry from the Guardian’s Best Practice Exchange on Patchwork or you can read more below.
In theory, disparate professionals from various public and third-sector agencies supporting vulnerable families not only know of each other’s shared involvement in the case, but how best to get hold of each other.
Yet, as proved by a succession of social care scandals, the reality can be very different.
Tragedies such as the Baby Peter case led to the creation of Staffordshire county council’s contact details system, Patchwork. Patchwork is not a case management tool, but a way for frontline staff working with children and families to discover others involved in those they care for.
“Patchwork is a web-based communication tool which reveals the network of practitioners working with a client,” explains Emily Skeet, commissioning manager at Staffordshire county council. “It also allows for voluntary-sector contacts to be involved – they often don’t have the same access as statutory agencies to technical case management systems.”
Frontline staff, such as district and county council contacts, fire service and social workers, log on to the web-based system and enter the name of a client. They immediately see which other agencies and professionals are supporting their client and are alerted to the best way to communicate with them, whether mobile, landline or email.