Essex County Council (ECC) plays a critical role in safeguarding and supporting the most vulnerable people in the county. With demand in adult social care services increasing, the council recognized an opportunity to better understand the existing financial assessment service experience.
Citizens in need of care are dealing with a stressful and emotional life event. To arrange care support, citizens must first undergo a financial assessment. This often happens during the care assessment process. Meaning, difficult conversations about finances often coincide with the first time an individual receiving care, and their support network, meet their social worker.
Essex processes around 50,000 assessments per year, a figure that’s continually increasing. ECC wanted to ensure that this service is meeting increasing levels of demand through a more efficient financial assessment service, while also providing the best service for their residents.
Working in a blended team with ECC’s service design team, we led a three-month discovery to better understand the current financial assessment service experience for both citizens and staff.
Through research, mapping, conceptualising and testing four early ideas, we outlined challenges, uncovered pain points and identified opportunities to improve the financial assessment experience. We gained insight through interviews and shadowing by speaking with 20 social workers, 6 citizens and their support networks, more than 50 internal staff and 20 local authorities.