Our Service Innovation and Improvement category recognises partnerships, departments, or teams who have successfully changed their processes and/or developed a new approach to an existing problem. This change will have led to tangible service improvement and a positive impact on the target audience, whether internal or external. Winners have demonstrated sound approaches and techniques in the way that the need for the initiative was identified, planned, implemented and monitored. A strong focus on partnership working has been achieved, as has value for money. The projects have also demonstrated real, quantifiable results in the way that services have been delivered in relation to the expressed needs and wishes of the users . Winning projects have also been pioneering, and are delivering lasting improvement, with strong potential for replication in other public services.
Fife Council – Contaminated Land Resource Sharing Group (RsG)
The Contaminated Land Resource Sharing Group (RsG) is an award-winning officer-led group comprising officers from Fife, Clackmannanshire and Perth & Kinross Councils that was set up in 2011. The group not only shares specialist equipment, officer-time and expertise but it does so with no money changing hands through the use of a simple barter agreement. This has saved each of the participating local authorities up to 70% in costs whilst reducing the time taken to investigate potentially contaminated land. The economies of skills & scale achieved by the project have resulted from us working together to get the best value from limited resources whilst also reducing external consultancy costs. The associated savings then allow for specialist environmental consultancies to be employed at a more advanced level in the contaminated land site investigation and risk assessment process (if required), thus making better use of already limited resources.
Download the full application: Contaminated Land Resource Sharing
Highland Council – Highland Helping Those In Need
When the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) abolished the Discretionary Social Fund in 2013, Local Authorities were tasked with introducing in its place, local systems of emergency support for vulnerable groups, known as the Scottish Welfare Fund. Councils had a relatively short period of time to put new arrangements in place and ensure the annual budget allocation from the Scottish Government reached those most in need. Highland Council set up an efficient application, administration and payment process and integrated the administration of the Fund within its current Operations Team to ensure customers received the best possible advice and service. The results show Highland’s administration of the Fund to be amongst the best in Scotland.
Download the full application: Highland Helping Those in Need
North Ayrshire Council – Changing Channels
Community and Culture Services in North Ayrshire have built a strong digital channel to provide a wide range of services to support the needs of the community. This has seen the uptake of digital services grow by over 37% over a four-year period. This has enabled customers to engage outside service opening hours or when on the move and have used the mobile phone app and social network channels to drive customers to our online services. This was achieved within existing budgets and will facilitate the transformation from buildings-based services as part of channel shift, driving down costs whilst responding to customers’ choice of how they interact with services. The project has shared this good practice with colleagues worldwide as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Leadership Programme in 2013.
Download the full application: Changing Channels
North Lanarkshire Council – Changing Lives – Making a Difference
This project has addressed the issues that have arisen following the removal of the spare room subsidy (more commonly known as the ‘bedroom tax’) introduced by the UK Government on 1 April 2013. The project saw the effective partnership working across council services to mitigate the impact on tenants affected by the bedroom tax.
We have had to prepare for the impact of this change, adapt our services and deliver positive outcomes for those affected. This has ensured our tenants have received support through the current changes while also addressing longer term sustainable solutions to deliver positive outcomes. Our approach has resulted in tenants receiving over £2million in additional income and appropriate supports have been put in place to help sustain their tenancies.
Download the full application: Changnig Lives
East Renfrewshire Council – Street Cleansing Improvement Programme
Public perception of street cleanliness in East Renfrewshire was low. 2011/12 performance data showed East Renfrewshire Council at 22nd out of 32 Scottish local authorities in the Street Cleaning Index. Benchmarking (APSE and LEAMS) and surveys (National Scottish Household Survey and Citizens Panel), showed that although street sweeping and litter collection was a service priority for residents, there were poor results in quality indicators and perception. Using a combination of technology, partnership working and community engagement, the Street Cleaning team turned this around. Early results show service outputs are improved and service requests and complaints reduced by 47%.
Download the full application: Street Cleansing
Angus Council – Angus Financial Harm Sub Committee
The Angus Financial Harm Sub-Committee (AFHSC) is a sub-committee of Angus Adult Protection Committee involving officers from Angus Council, Police Scotland, voluntary sector partners and businesses, including financial institutions. The aim of AFHSC is to reduce the number of people being exposed to or suffering financial harm, reducing the amount of money lost to fraud and scams. AFHSC is innovative in that:
- It involves many external partners and drives actions for those partners;
- It increases the options for disposal of cases involving vulnerable adults;
- It uses technological solutions to protect victims and potential victims;
- It utilises the enforcement partners to visit victims and potential victims targeted by criminal gangs. The value of one operation (Operation Carpus ) was estimated to be £1 million in savings to vulnerable adults;
- It empowers key workers in daily contact with vulnerable adults to recognise signs of financial harm;
- It manages a constant stream of TV, radio, press and social media output to raise awareness of financial harm to the public and raise the profile of financial harm amongst the media;
- It has utilised existing resources to better effect to reduce harm to more vulnerable people.
Download the full application: Financial Harm
South Ayrshire Council – AYRshare Multi-Agency Partnership
AYRshare is an innovative computer system developed by the three Ayrshire Councils in partnership with NHS Ayrshire & Arran. It enables effective, timely and secure sharing of information between partners to help address concerns about the well-being and protection of children and young people. AYRshare is in the process of transforming how practitioners – including teachers, social workers and health visitors – share information to highlight the need for early intervention and to assist with subsequent assessment and action planning. Over 1,200 practitioners across Ayrshire now use AYRshare to share information on 3,000 children and young people more efficiently, effectively and securely than was possible in the past. The integration of AYRshare with social and health care systems supports assessment and planning processes that underpin the national GIRFEC programme, early intervention strategies and the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. Improved outcomes enabled by AYRshare are now reported by our practitioners.
Download the full application: Ayrshare