Our Digital by Design programme is committed to supporting services with new ways of working. By improving our mobile working processes and replacing equipment we will achieve efficiencies in both time and cost and also better customer service for our residents.

What are the advantages?

The new mobile working methods will allow practitioners who are out of the office on visits to access and update records and upload case notes on social care systems in situ or on the go. This:

  • Saves time and mileage by alleviating the need to travel back to the office to complete work
  • Allows more time to be spent with children and families
  • Speeds up the completion of assessments
  • Increases accuracy of records by writing up case notes whilst with residents
  • Enables workers to provide immediate Information, Advice and Guidance to families by accessing the Council’s new website and tools such as ‘Better Off Stockport’.

What equipment has been chosen?

Following the trial of different types of equipment during our Stockport Family and Stockport Together pilots, a Lenovo touchscreen tablet with detachable keyboard has been chosen. It is home and public Wi-Fi enabled as well as having 4G ensuring that mobile workers can access the internet from most locations. The chosen device is lightweight but powerful and staff can write directly onto the tablet using the touchscreen pen and handwriting recognition software. The pen also has useful applications for greater engagement with children who can interact and draw directly onto the screen.

New tablet

We have ‘Hotswap’ tablets available in case of breakdown or damage (equipment used by mobile workers is exposed to a higher number of hazards than office based equipment) to ensure that workflow is not interrupted. As much of the old kit as possible is being recycled and re-used, depending on whether the IT is still supported.

Training

Stockport Family were chosen for the rollout of the new mobile working kit with the Head of Service identifying 160 Social Workers, School Age Plus Workers or specialist team workers with the potential to benefit the most. The first round of training in the use of the new devices is now complete, with further sessions to follow based on feedback from staff. We will monitor calls to our IT Helpdesk to identify further training needs.

Feedback

We have already had some excellent feedback from practitioners who have the new tablets:

“The size of the tablet is great to carry around and use – One Note is fantastic instead of a paper notebook.”

“This week I’ve been more responsive to families in terms of giving advice and referral forms done –it’s great I can do things immediately in people’s homes now.”

“Out on duty doing 3 visits one after another, I was able to look up information and be clear in between visits. Also I could record in between visits so I didn’t get confused later between visits when trying to record everything. It’s really efficient and helpful.”

“The direct work session with children on the tablet was fun and easy to interact with them. I was able to save on file easily and email to their carer to print off for them.”

“On one home visit today to a family who have lots of financial problems I was able to immediately go online with the parent to research council tax, tax credits and SLAS – then do the online application with them. I was able to solve in one visit what I have been trying to resolve for 3 months!”

“I worked from home to complete the report and the connection was quick and reliable. It’s never been like that before.”

“I wrote up the core group minutes immediately after the meeting, the analysis of risk was fresh and clear and I was able to send minutes there and then to core group members.  It feels great doing things straight way as it means I’m not getting stressed as my admin to-do list grows.”