Feedback from Haringey Social Care clients said they were happy with the quality of the service they received but felt the assessment process just took too long. They experienced a fragmented service involving too many people where they had to repeat information they had already provided many times.
Haringey Council had spent many years looking to make improvements in this area.
Haringey did not want to just undergo another improvement initiative. They wanted to develop their staff and embed a culture of continuous improvement, providing sustainable long term change for the better.
Ambitiously, Haringey Adult Social Care wanted to do this in the midst of many other challenges such as budget cuts, restructuring, staff turnover, homeworking etc.
This story began just under 18 months ago …….
Emotionally Intelligent Lean
Many Lean initiatives fail because they do not recognise the importance of team and individual motivation. EQLeanTM puts people at the centre of change.
The approach uses psychometrics, 1 to 1 feedback, culture surveys, team engagement, aspirations discussion and management. The activity focuses on the individual’s motivation and behaviours to ensure a positive experience for all – maximising both the individuals’ and teams contributions to the Lean Process.
A cross functional team, with a mandate from their host department, gathered to review the process.
The 18 strong group were given an introduction to Lean principles and then through a phased approach learnt how to implement these concepts practically into their processes, always with the client at the heart of the decisions.
The driving factor at all times was whether any part of the process was adding value to their clients, if not then effort was made to try and eliminate it or at least minimise it.
- New Integrated Access Team initial contact assessment method.
- New AMDA (Adults Multi-disciplinary Assessment) tool (developed into Frameworki (Fwi)).
- Integration & harmonisation of the re-ablement process into the assessment process.
Process Lead Time
- Average 91% less client waiting time.
- Statutory target achieved, now best in class Council performance.
- Dramatic reduction in the number of Emergency Assessments required as clients are seen very quickly after initial contact.
- Reduced error rates , right first time principle especially in the Finance Area.
Process Work Content
The revised process eliminated much non-value added activity, reducing the amount of work within the process:
- Productivity improved, from 1 assessment per week per social worker to 3.
- The financial situation dictated that as vacancies occur they were not filled – with improving performance these reductions in headcount have been absorbed:
The client experience is not just a quicker service but more joined up with less repetitive information requests.
This has been achieved through customer focus and elimination of wasteful activities resulting in a much simpler client friendly process. This is reflected in the figures below:
Continuous Improvement & Culture Change
Significant strides have been made by Haringey Adult Social Care to expand this approach to other areas of their business: two examples being Finance and the Hospital Admission Avoidance process, which has been very positively received by the local Hospitals.
There is real evidence of the development of a Continuous Improvement Culture – below are the words of Karen Rowing [Organisational Development & Change] at the May 2013 Lean Review:
“Those results are amazing, phenomenal. Lots of achievement and lots of success that is so visible and tangible and I think the behaviour is right here in this room, the culture is right here in this room. It’s all about how we behave with one another that determines the culture.
If we talk about and demonstrate how this work has enabled us and helped, then that filters down, changing the culture further.“