By implementing a mobile working solution, Nottinghamshire County Council has been able to empower its staff to be more productive while achieving time and travel savings.
The local authority covers the county of Nottinghamshire, rather than the city of Nottingham itself. Areas included are both rural and suburban.
In total, there are around 7000 ICT users at the council and around 1000 frontline employees working in social care.
Nottinghamshire had noticed its current working environment for social workers was not working as effectively as it could.
“It’s a challenging time for social workers, faced with an increasing workload due to an ageing population combined with government budget restrictions,” claimed Ivor Nicholson, ICT service director at the local authority.
“We are always looking for technologies to make their jobs easier,” he added.
Social workers’ time was being wasted travelling to and from the office in between appointments because the only way they could access the necessary back-end IT systems to input their notes was by being physically in the office.
Time was also wasted inputting information twice, along with paper, as social workers would often ignore their laptops completely in favour writing down notes from their visits to file away in a computer at a later date.
It soon became apparent that the local authority needed to adopt a more mobile way of working, but any solution must be available online and offline as many social workers are required to visit the more rural areas of Nottinghamshire where coverage may be difficult.
“The connectivity in Nottinghamshire is mixed and it was imperative or our front-line workers to be able to work offline,” claimed Nicholson.
It was decided the TotalMobile solution would be trialled with a small group of workers before beginning a wider rollout.
Over 75 social workers are already equipped for mobile working and there are plans to roll it out to a further 2000 other users over the next 18 months.
Since teaming up with TotalMobile and Vodafone to deliver a better mobile working solution, Nottinghamshire County Council has been able to simplify the ways its social workers access and use information.
“They have all the case information at their fingertips and can connect to our back-end system easily, quickly and most importantly, very securely,” claimed Nicholson.
“It’s been a massive time saver, we are using less paper and workers can spend more time with the people that actually need their help, instead of driving back to the office to update their notes,” he added.
Because TotalMobile’s solution can be deployed on any mobile device, social workers have been able to enjoy much more flexibility in the way they access and use information.
For example, they can now complete assessments and case notes directly on their tablets, eliminating the need for time and money consuming trips back to the office and using huge amounts of paper.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easily people have picked up using TotalMobile. It has a particularly user-friendly interface and people have got up to speed very quickly with any new functionality we add,” claimed Nicholson.