Lots of people need extra support to do the everyday things that many of us take for granted. This is where adult social care services come in, empowering people of all ages with a range of needs to live independently.
We’ve been working with Buckinghamshire County Council to improve access to quality information and advice when it comes to social care for residents.
Together, we’re building a unique front door: one place to help residents and professionals navigate options and get the support they need. In a multidisciplinary team of FutureGovers and subject matter experts from the council, we’ve been researching, building and testing prototypes with input from residents and a wide range of professionals.
Adult social care is complex
Throughout our process of learning and designing, one thing has remained clear: adult social care is complicated and complex. Residents, practitioners and even council professionals are navigating complex needs in a complicated system.
Buckinghamshire County Council and its partners (such as health services or voluntary and community sector organisations) provide a range of services and guidance to support adults. With many providers or services, we’re left with many ‘front doors’ for these services. Scattered across multiple websites, the opportunities for support are messy for residents to navigate.
A lack of clear information and guidance means that people aren’t aware of how they can support themselves. People bounce around the system before reaching the right service when information and support could be at their fingertips!
We need to do more to help people understand support options, whether it’s from council services, local communities or charities.
People start looking for information at crisis point
Planning future care can feel intimidating and emotional. People often start thinking about care at a late stage or crisis point, looking for information and support as they go through a life-changing event; losing a loved one or receiving a diagnosis are examples of life events when someone might need support.
This is why we’ve been talking a lot lately about the importance of designing services with life events. The research we’ve done shows that navigating options based on life events is the most popular and useful option. When creating platforms to navigate services, we need to cluster them around life events to reflect people’s experience.