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Adult Social Care

A Local Authority’s Adult Social Care Department needed to reduce service inefficiencies in response to 5% budgetary cuts whilst maintaining – or preferably increasing – service standards. The key area for review was the Initial Access Team whose members helped clients maintain independence by offering aids and adaptations such as grab-rails, stair-lifts and ramps.

Every referral to the team from clients or their representatives resulted in a home visit and client assessment, causing a considerable amount of unnecessary work, duplication and wasted effort, and drastically reducing the department’s ability to complete value-adding assessments. A Process Flow Diagram showed anomalies and inefficiencies in detail, such as around seven ‘inappropriate contacts’ per week (i.e. a contact that did not affect a client’s independent living).

Recommendations were made which resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of ‘inappropriate contacts’, and a consequent dramatic increase in efficiency and achievement of targets. In addition, the Local Authority learnt the effectiveness of ‘database-informed decision-making’, whilst gaining sufficient confidence to embark on a much bigger, collaborative working project between the Authority and the National Health Service.