Idox’s Open Objects has responded to the allocation of a further £29 million to help councils meet the statutory requirements of the Children and Families Act (2014) and the SEN Code of Practice (2014), calling it a ‘milestone moment’.
The additional funding from the Department for Education (DfE) – announced at the end of last year – has now been distributed to all councils in England. It will provide local authority SEND services with additional financial support at a time when teams are already working hard to transition thousands of existing Statements to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans in line with new legislation.
For the EHC process specifically, this cash injection is likely to present local authorities with greater opportunities to invest in service change, as they continue to rollout digital technologies to help them manage EHC pathways in a more sustainable, efficient manner.
Open Objects has collaborated with several local authorities to understand how digital can transform the EHC process and directly address time, resource and financial challenges. Working with professionals across education, health and social care – as well as parents, carers and young people – the team has developed the EHC Hub. As a secure, online platform that enables professionals, families and young people to collaborate simultaneously, the Hub offers a more personal approach to EHC planning while ensuring engagement at every stage.
Gavin Cameron, Managing Director of Open Objects said: “The allocation of additional funding is another milestone moment for those working across SEND services, and presents a real opportunity for service change across local authorities in England.”
“Using digital provides the tools needed to transform services and help teams work more efficiently, which is particularly important during the complex EHC process. Our EHC Hub can be a real catalyst for development – local authorities coming on board over the next couple of months will also be on track to pilot cases and rollout wider in time for the September 2018 school term.”
- Additional information on the SEND implementation grant: allocations for 2018 to 2019 can be found here.
- More about the growth of EHC plan numbers can be found here.
Two CAFM Explorer customers have extended their use of the facilities management software after experiencing continued efficiency gains.
Cummins, a world leader in designing, manufacturing and selling diesel engines, and the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) – the governing body of Freemasonry in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man – have both expanded their use of the system to realise further benefits.
The addition of CAFM Web and CAFM Engineer has boosted UGLE’s facilities management functionality. The team are now able to manage and deliver support services via a centralised web-based Help Desk, as well as grant engineers their own secure access to maximise productivity.
Continued success of CAFM Explorer at Cummins’ plant in Huddersfield has also prompted expansion to a second site in Darlington. The implementation will enable the team to manage planned and reactive maintenance more effectively, while gaining greater visibility of site-wide operations.
Claire Visser, Director of CAFM Explorer said: “It’s great to be able to help our customers evolve their use of the system. CAFM Explorer’s scalability means that businesses have the flexibility to adapt and develop their use of the software based on business need.”
Bury Council is in the running for an innovation award for its inspiring use of the ‘Bury Directory’ – an online hub pioneered by Idox’s Open Objects, offering easy access to integrated information about health, social care and community services.
The Council – a longstanding Open Objects customer – is awaiting the outcome of the iNetwork Innovation Award, to be announced at an official ceremony taking place before the opening of the annual iNetwork ‘Leading Places’ conference.
The event, which will also be attended by Open Objects, will welcome delegates from the North of England and the Midlands who work across the public sector. It aims to share best practice on ‘place-based working’, as well as showcasing the localities that are leading on service reform and delivery in areas such as information sharing, data analytics, partnership working, and data standards.
We wish Bury Council the best of luck at the awards ceremony and look forward to hearing them discuss their use of the Bury Directory during their conference workshop later this month!
Interested in hearing more?
- ‘iNetwork Festival of Innovation: Leading Places’, takes place on 31 January at Audacious Church, Manchester. To attend the event (free for public sector delegates), book your place here.
- You can also read more about The Bury Directory entry, or contact Open Objects for more information on 01223 422200 and via the website here.
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council (Sefton MBC) has extended its use of Idox technology – reporting savings and success with the Building Inspector (BI) app.
Designed to allow site surveyors to work on the move, the Council’s Building Control team is now able to create, view and complete inspections on site, before automatically syncing case information to the back office when connected with Wi-Fi.
Such mobile working has boosted productivity by reducing paper trails and removing time-consuming parts of the process such as manual file creation, location and retrieval – key aims for the Council generally. In due course, the app is also expected to reduce the amount of physical space needed for storage.
Ian Berrington, Service Manager for Building Control at Sefton MBC said:
“Idox’s BI app has allowed us to take full advantage of the benefits of agile working, helping us achieve savings in terms of efficiency, reduced storage costs and fewer work stages. Before the Building Control team used the app, officers would retrieve the case file for each of their planned site inspections from the filing system, take the file out on site with them, make their handwritten notes on the site report card and then return the case file to the filing system. The app removes the need for these stages, freeing up staff time, ensuring reports are always legible, and avoiding potential inspection delays via misfiling across our two office locations.
“The app has the additional benefit of being able to store supporting technical information which can be accessed on site by the contractor or property owner if required. From a citizen perspective, a site visit from a BCO with the ability to access and populate their files electronically via a tablet, must appear more professional than referring to paper-based notes and plans. Overall, digitising the Building Control process through the BI app has provided a net benefit in terms of time and cost savings.”
Following a successful rollout for the Building Control team, the Council – who already use Uniform, Public Access and EDMS for Planning and Building Control – is currently exploring how Idox’s additional role-based apps can be adopted by its Planning department to realise further savings.
- For more information about the BI app, please visit the designated page here
Idox’s CAFM Explorer has kick-started 2018 successfully after being named ‘Best for Estate Management Software Solutions’ for the second year running by leading industry title BUILD magazine.
The publication’s Facilities Management Awards recognise the ‘hidden heroes’ across a range of industries – from construction and waste management to hospitality and pest control.
CAFM Explorer’s latest award recognition underlines its experience in developing and delivering leading facilities management software that enables organisations – including NHS Trusts, sports venues and iconic tourist attractions – maintain safe, compliant and efficient operations around the clock.
Claire Visser, Director of CAFM Explorer said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to have our facilities management expertise recognised in this way. We continue to work hard to ensure our software keeps up with the demands of our customers and is able to support them 24/7 – winning this award is testimony to the success of the product and its value across a number of sectors.”
For more information about the awards and winners, please click here.
To find out more about Idox’s end-to-end facilities management software, visit the website.
The team behind Idox’s leading research funding platform – RESEARCHconnect – has successfully executed its first university focus group as a part of a long-term vision to strengthen and increase engagement with its extensive academic community.
The focus group series has been designed to encourage debate and support knowledge-sharing between RESEARCHconnect users, with the aim of creating a space that enables networking and collaboration. Ensuing discussions around user needs and the overall experience of using research and funding platforms are also expected to be pivotal in shaping how the product develops and continues to meet sector requirements.
University representatives from across the North East, Scotland, Lancashire and Yorkshire & the Humber attended the opening event – kindly hosted by client Durham University – and participated in discussions focused on key topics affecting the academic sector today, as discovered in a recent RESEARCHconnect university survey.
Wider themes spanning partnership development, researcher engagement, integration with research information management systems (RIMs), and rollout plans across different faculties were also covered. These topics remain a cornerstone of the future RESEARCHconnect strategy to provide a seamless user journey from grants identification and application to funding management.
The next group session is expected to take place in March 2018, at Idox’s offices in London.
Following a competitive tender process, Idox Elections has been awarded a contract with North Lanarkshire Council, where it will support the delivery of an efficient, transparent and reliable elections service until 2020.
The partnership sees Idox replace incumbent supplier Democracy Counts in the provision of a comprehensive Electoral Management System (EMS). The contract includes the production and delivery of all print requirements for every election within the contract period, including poll cards, ballot books and postal packs for an electorate of approximately 255,000. Idox will also provide the Council’s Postal Managed Service, allowing North Lanarkshire to scan and verify 100% of returned postal votes and associated postal vote statements.
The contract builds on Idox’s recent e-count success in Scotland and coincides with a similar electoral services contract win in Tayside, due to commence in January 2018.
The Tayside Procurement Consortium – on behalf of Angus, Dundee City and Perth & Kinross Councils – has selected Idox to fulfil all print requirements, as well as deliver the Postal Voting Management Solution (PVMS) for each Council.
Sandwell Council and the London Borough of Newham Council have become the two latest local authorities to implement the Family Information Services (FIS) Hub and Local Offer solutions developed by Idox’s Open Objects.
The flexible, digital solutions will provide both councils with accessible and engaging online platforms to share integrated information about health, social care and community services in their local areas. They will also enable citizens to engage independently, giving them greater autonomy to identify support that is most relevant to them.
The Local Offer channels will provide an online guide that brings together the information and services available to children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities in the two council localities.
With over 70 Local Offer customer websites across England, Open Objects has been at the forefront of delivering interactive and informative platforms for parents, carers, children and young people since the introduction of the 2014 SEND reforms. In collaboration with local authorities and their parent and carer networks, the team will continue to evolve the platform to ensure it consistently meets the needs of those accessing health and social care services locally.
To find out more about the FIS Hub, Local Offer, or any of Open Objects’ digital tools for social care and health, visit www.openobjects.com or call 01223 422200.
Following a competitive tender process, Idox Elections is delighted to confirm its selection as the official provider of an Electronic Vote Counting Solution to the Office of the Electoral Commission of Malta – a contract that will see it support elections across the country during the 2019-2024 period.
The rollout of Idox’s e-counting technology will help Malta accelerate its counting process – reducing the time it takes to count ballot papers and provide calculations from days to hours and minutes.
Idox’s services will also extend beyond e-count software to provide a complete infrastructure and services solution, comprising a closed network in Malta’s Naxxar Count Centre which includes hardware, security software, training and support. The team will also partner with Scytl – a specialist in developing secure elections management solutions – to ensure transparent and fully auditable results.
The technology will be in place to support Malta’s next round of European Parliament and Local Council elections in 2019, involving the simultaneous election of councillors across 68 Localities and the election of MEPs across 13 Electoral Divisions – both using the Single Transferable Voting (STV) method.
Following a ceremony in Malta to formally confirm the partnership, Andrew Riley, Chief Executive Officer of Idox group said: “With over 120 clients in the UK and across Europe using our electoral services, we are unrivalled in expertise, technology and resource, and are delighted to see Malta become the latest client to benefit from our solutions. We’re leading the way in the delivery of smart, end-to-end electoral software, and look forward to extending this to Malta where we will provide the accuracy and speed required for successful elections in 2019 and beyond.”
Idox’s extensively tested eCount software was identified as a key strength during the tender process, together with proven experience of managing STV counting on a national scale. This has been demonstrated in Scotland, following the delivery of eCount software to all 32 Scottish councils in the 2012 and 2017 local elections.
Idox Health has been awarded a development contract by the Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare), making it one of just five companies chosen to receive NHS follow-on funding for the creation of digital technologies that improve patient care.
The SBRI Healthcare competition – entitled ‘Improving patient flow to maximise operational efficiency in the Acute Sector’ – is an NHS England initiative, which aims to promote UK economic growth while addressing health needs that have not yet been met. The funding will allow Idox Health to deliver StrokeNet – a secure, N3 network-contained and browser-accessed digital platform that facilitates the real-time exchange of clinical information critical to managing the resources involved in treating stroke patients.
The system will initially be implemented at University College London Hospitals (UCLH), where it will be used alongside the Trust’s existing StrokePad solution – a tablet-based Electronic Patient Record – also from Idox Health. The rollout will enhance the functionality already available, enabling staff to improve the Stroke Unit’s inpatient journey, as well as streamlining patient handover processes upon discharge.
Following development and rollout at UCLH, it is expected that StrokeNet will be available for deployment as a standalone product to support the provision of efficient, effective and high-quality stroke services to patients around the country.
Lambeth Council is the latest local authority – and the third London borough – to rollout the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Hub from Idox’s Open Objects.
Through its adoption of the Hub – a fully online and mobile solution – the Council is taking a digital approach to the way EHC requests are managed, monitored and shared. The secure platform will enable an inclusive, person-centred process, and offers a single point-of-access to share and collaborate on EHC assessments, plans and reviews.
The Council will offer a more efficient and transparent way for young people and their families to understand and track their EHC journeys from the outset, and throughout the subsequent assessment and annual review processes. Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) teams, together with their health and social care partners, will also be able to collaborate on a fully-integrated assessment process, while keeping families fully updated in a way that empowers them to contribute.
Additionally, the Hub will help Lambeth achieve significant cost and time efficiencies through a more streamlined approach to EHC planning and delivery.
Lambeth Council is now the seventh local authority to implement the EHC Hub.
For more information about the Hub, click here to complete the contact form and one of our team will be in touch.
Idox Health’s sexual health management system – Lilie – has been strengthened by two new modules that offer patients a more private and secure way to book an appointment online, with 24/7 access to information.
Lilie Virtual Clinic Link and Lilie Virtual Clinic Website help healthcare providers maximise the number of patients attending their clinics, and reduce instances of missed appointments by facilitating out-of-hours bookings and automated text or email reminders.
A key advantage of the new modules is that they also provide an intelligent triaging process that allocates the most appropriate appointment based on the patient’s selections, simultaneously updating their electronic records. By streamlining the booking process and automatically updating records at the back end, clinics are able to ensure that patients are assigned the most suitable healthcare professional from their first visit, and that medical information is readily available before the consultation begins.
Rhys Powell, Head of Clinical Sales at Idox Health said: “With our new Virtual Clinic modules clinics can now meet patient demands of modern access to information. In addition, not only are we offering clinics the option to display appointments to their patients in real time, but clinic staff also have full control over appointment availability and can directly book these slots as required.”
For healthcare providers who already have an online website, the Lilie Virtual Clinic Link booking solution can be customised and fully integrated to deliver brand consistency and a seamless patient experience. For those without a digital presence, the Lilie Virtual Clinic Website provides an online booking facility, even when no website currently exists.
Two new Government reports looking at the Education, Health and Care (EHC) process, have delivered a strong call-to-action for councils and specifically highlighted the need for a more efficient, family-orientated process.
The reports – released by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) – discuss the requirement for councils to implement robust procedures to avoid common failings being carried into the new EHC system.
One extract from the Ombudsman’s report cited that the EHC system should be: “Less confrontational, more efficient and involve families better, while reducing the administrative burden on them.”
The DfE publication echoed these findings, stating that: “In over a third of the local areas inspected, leaders across education, health and care did not involve children and young people or their parents sufficiently in planning and reviewing their provision (a process known as co-production).”
For the past 18 months, Idox’s Open Objects has been working with local authority partners, parent carer forums and young people to co-produce the EHC Hub – a digital platform that directly tackles some of the issues raised in both reports.
The Hub facilitates real-time collaboration and provides a platform for engagement with families right from the beginning of their EHC journey. The ability to contribute to the EHC process online offers families more transparency compared to paper processes. It ensures issues are identified earlier in the process, leading to more timely resolutions and improved outcomes, while complementing report findings that regular family involvement typically leads to successful EHC planning.
The reports also identified that the quality of EHC plans varied: "In the cases we have investigated, we have seen examples of councils not obtaining professional advice within the six week timeframe, and not giving professionals clear instructions, meaning the advice obtained is then not detailed and specific enough to write a clear EHC plan.”
The Hub solves this issue by delivering an efficient way of collating advice from professionals. Through a co-produced structured template for advice, the Hub securely captures the specific strengths, needs and outcomes of a child or young person, which in turn provides a clear and robust starting point for drafting the EHC plan.
The EHC Hub provides the tools needed to improve joint working across education, health and care services, and has already been adopted by six English local authorities as they strive to meet their statutory requirements. It is hoped that the use of the Hub will help children and young people with special educational needs reach their full potential.
To find out more about the EHC Hub, call Open Objects on 01223 422200 or click here to complete the contact form.
To read the reports mentioned in this article, please follow:
- Focus Report: EHC Plans, October 2017. (Published by the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman
- Local area SEND inspections: one year on (Published by the Department for Education)
As specialists in using smart technology to transform document processes, Idox’s McLaren Software will be attending this year’s Nuclear Plant Digitalization Conference in North Carolina, joining industry experts on the Nuclear Information Records Management Association (NIRMA) panel.
Sharing extensive knowledge and experience on document and records management and data administration, McLaren’s Tim Fleet, along with other members of the panel, will explore the positive impact that digital technologies are having on the industry, and how internal processes can help plants operate more efficiently.
The session – entitled ‘Leading the Way in Nuclear Digitalization Standards’ – will conclude with an interactive discussion on open information management and plant digitalisation, with Tim discussing the Nuclear Maturity Model and the manageable steps that can be taken to move from paper to electronic processes.
The Nuclear Plant Digitalization Conference will take place from 13-14 November at the Hilton Charlotte Center City in Charlotte, NC. For more information, visit the event website here.
To find out more about McLaren Software and how its solutions can support operators striving to achieve the aims of the Nuclear Promise, visit the website here.
‘Headless CMS’ is becoming an increasingly popular development choice for organisations across the globe as their digital strategies evolve.
The technology – whilst around for some time now – has recently been gaining traction as many site owners begin to outgrow the more ‘traditional’ CMS solutions. A headless – or ‘decoupled’ – CMS focuses solely on how content is managed in the back-end.
So, what exactly is ‘headless’ and what benefits can it bring?
In our latest article, Tom Troughton and Jamie Griffiths from Idox’s Reading Room explore its rise in popularity, explaining the advantages on offer and how engagement can be maximised through its use.
Interested in finding out more? Read the full piece here.
The UK’s largest integrated Health and Social Care Trust is to implement a new healthcare logistics management solution, enabling faster tracking of patient records that emanate from various hospital sites across Belfast.
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) will rollout Idox Health’s iFIT™ solution to support the effective management of medical records stored in its main libraries, helping the Trust optimise service processes and ensure a high-standard of care to its patients.
The Health Records department provides a vital service that is pivotal to the Trust’s overall operations, including the filing and preparation of notes for clinics and admissions for adults and children. The transition to iFIT™ will replace current tracking systems, making it significantly easier for hospital staff to manage the growing number of records and ensure documentation is instantly retrievable at all times, while simultaneously safeguarding patient safety.
The rollout of iFIT™ will also help the Trust to use the new health records library at its Royal Victoria site to maximum capacity, which will house up to 250,000 records – of which, 180,000 are active. This is possible due the solution’s Location Based Filing functionality, which has the capability of releasing a further 20% of library space by eliminating the need for sequencing, and allowing previously reserved filing space to be made immediately available.
A spokesperson for Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said:
“With the multiple challenges our Trust now faces, maintaining service during a period of increased demand whilst at the same time saving money is a delicate balance. The introduction of iFIT helps meet both these challenges and it frees up capacity for other uses and acts as a platform for further projects.”
The system – deployed at the Trust’s Royal Victoria Hospital – involves the attachment of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to patient health records, with each one carrying a unique case note number. RFID readers installed at key entry and exit points around the hospital will electronically scan tagged notes as they pass the sensor locations. This automated tracking network is further supported by mobile devices, enabling hospital staff to rapidly detect specific items from a range of over 13 feet.
All shelves in the Trust’s medical records libraries will be assigned Global Location Number (GLN) codes providing GS1 standard compliance, meaning any file can be tracked to any shelf, improving filing efficiency by 80% and driving significant tracking and auditing productivity savings.
Fully integrated with the Trust’s Patient Administration System, Clinicom, BHSCT will achieve an improvement in information accuracy through iFIT's suite of reports, specifically designed to manage operational processes, temporary note creation and data quality information.
Karen Gorman, Head of Sales at Idox Health said: “iFIT will have a huge impact on the way Health Records operate at this Trust, while also providing the basis for GS1 compliance. Having signed a second Trust in Northern Ireland, Idox Health are now becoming a major supplier to the region.”
The infrastructure implemented by Idox Health provides future opportunities for BHSCT to track other critical hospital assets, such as medical devices, drugs, clinical implants and even people. The solution also has the ability to integrate seamlessly with other ICT developments, paving the way towards an Electronic Health Records strategy and providing the Trust with the flexibility it needs to accommodate longer-term strategic objectives.
For further information on Idox Health’s iFIT solution, please visit the product’s dedicated pages.
Powys County Council will roll out a suite of digital services from Idox in an effort to streamline its Planning and Building Control functions.
The implementation, incorporating Idox’s proven back-end software Uniform, will be supported by Enterprise – an automated workflow and performance management solution that enables council officers to monitor and balance staff workload – and EDMS, an integrated document management solution. Together, these solutions will provide a robust platform designed to increase efficiencies.
As Idox’s software facilitates seamless integration, all the Council’s Planning and Building Control activities can be managed via the same system, with the ability to accommodate dual language in English and Welsh through connections with external systems.
The Council will also take advantage of the Planning DC application – part of Idox’s wider suite of role-based apps – which will equip Planning Officers with the ability to work on-the-move, and carry out inspections and site visits even when offline.
NHS Trusts will benefit from an enhanced digital service that provides a holistic view of all hospital assets – from syringe pumps to beds – to help clinicians reduce clinical risk, improve patient care and boost productivity.
Launched last week, the latest version of Idox Health’s asset logistics management solution – iAssets – provides a 360-degree view of a hospital’s equipment, delivering timely information that enables staff to review asset location, availability, usage frequency, patient allocation and safety.
Not only will this help to reduce clinical time spent looking for equipment (estimated by The Nursing Times to take up to 30 minutes of every shift), but also it provides Trusts with the insight needed to help maximise asset availability, reduce procurement spend and ensure compliance through a more coordinated approach to asset management.
By scanning barcodes with handheld devices, the solution’s mobile barcode trackers allow staff to link medical devices to a location and to a patient wristband. The Scan4Safety feature on the handheld device confirms whether a device is safe to use within its planned preventative maintenance and sterilisation cycle, ensuring clinical safety. iAssets also has the functionality to allow staff to gather the utilisation rates of assets Trust-wide, which is essential for re-procurement and capital expenditure planning and to drive savings.
Fully compliant to all seven GS1 keys, iAssets complies with the most recent mandate from the UK Department of Health and is part of the iFIT logistics management suite.
Internationally renowned Durham University is the latest Russell Group university to switch to GRANTfinder’s suite of funding services.
The University’s three-year investment in research funding service RESEARCHconnect, along with supporting services GRANTfinder and POLICYfinder, will allow it to maintain an holistic view of funding opportunities across research as well as areas of wider institutional interest such as facilities build and spin-offs.
Sally Hewlett, Head of Research Operations at Durham University said:
“As the subscription with our existing funding opportunities provider was coming to an end, we decided to look at other products available in the marketplace. There were two key criteria driving our selection process. First, as a research-intensive university, we needed a product that would make it easy to search for, and share, funding opportunities with our academic colleagues. Second, we wanted a provider which was responsive to the changing and varied nature of the funding landscape, who actively works with their user base to improve and enhance their service.
“We trialled GRANTfinder 4 Education and were particularly impressed by how intuitive the system’s interface was to use and how the individual user experience could be tailored according to need. At the end of the trial, Durham chose to subscribe to all three of the GRANTfinder 4 Education platforms because of the value they add to our research applications and their excellent value for money.
“Throughout the trial period, Idox consistently provided excellent customer support and showed themselves to be keen to work with us as we develop our research systems. We look forward to forging a close working partnership with Idox and to the possibilities for growth and development in the future.”
Rebecca Erskine, Director of Idox Grants UK adds: “We have an established partnership with Durham through delivery of our Open 4 Learning portal which supports students in identifying financial support for their study and associated costs. We’re of course delighted that they have opted to extend their product portfolio by investing in our GRANTfinder 4 Education and RESEARCHconnect suite.
“RESEARCHconnect in particular continues to go from strength to strength as a global funding information provider of choice, with a growing presence in institutions large and small across Northern and Western Europe. Our long-term roadmap focuses on supporting activity at every step of the funding process – from identification of the most relevant funding opportunities to supporting our clients through application submission and management of funds allocated. One constant over some 30 years of business is consulting with our clients, listening to their needs and addressing those needs through clear and accurate reporting tools and search functionality. We’re confident that Durham will be another leading voice in our client community.”
For more information on GRANTfinder 4 Education, visit: www.idoxgrantfinder.co.uk/education