Intelligent automation is helping improve services for those in need in the Caerphilly county borough.
In 2019 Caerphilly County Borough Council became the first local authority in Wales to introduce process automation for front line services. Having seen its success in helping to free up staff time, the Caerphilly Supporting People team were keen to explore how the same approach could be applied to their roles in social care.
The Supporting People team receives referrals for potential new cases from a range of sources, including GPs, schools, Police and a range of other third sector organisations. The referrals are typically of people in crisis or at risk, for any number of reasons, and they typically contain some, but not all, of the information required.
Historically, when a referral was received by the team, a number of checks would be carried out by staff across a range of databases in order to confirm personal details and identify whether the person being referred is already known to services. This process took time and was heavily reliant on staff completing it correctly.
The Supporting People team worked closely with Codebase, experts in a range of technical and commercial services, to develop an automated process where referrals are received digitally and a ‘virtual worker’ takes on the task of completing the case details.
Virtual workers are now carrying out this process with speed and efficiency, giving valuable hours back to the Supporting People team to allow them to focus on providing care. By using intelligent automation, the team has saved a total of 60 working hours per week; which equates to a total of 3,120 working hours saved per year and £64,000 total return on investment per year.
Cllr Eluned Stenner, the Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Customer Services, said “Caerphilly Council is leading the way in using technology to help us deliver more efficient services for our residents. The use of automation in the Supporting People team is an excellent example of how the technology is being used to free up staff time, enabling them to focus their efforts on helping our residents.”