One of the most heartening things about the early days of the pandemic was the speed at which digital service teams adapted to rapidly changing resident needs to deliver new, emergency services. Alongside that urgent response, another challenge became clear: how do local authorities continue supporting residents to know what services remain available during the crisis in the midst of frequent changes to government guidelines? With many residents in need of other types of support that could be provided by the wider community, many councils recognised the need for a tool that would help residents understand the services available to them, based on geographical location and their particular need, with the option to self-refer when possible.
But in the middle of a crisis, how do you quickly build a tool that will support as many people as possible?
A Coronavirus service directory
Building on code we developed with Buckinghamshire Council building their “find support near you” tool for adult social care, we wanted to build a coronavirus service directory aimed at this wider population. Whilst supporting residents in the community, the tool also helped reduce demand on statutory council services while saving staff time so they could focus on complex individual cases.