South Lanarkshire Council will save time and money by transforming its ‘care at home service’ in a new partnership with a leading software company.

Council staff and Totalmobile, a specialist in field service management software solutions, will work together to modernise the service that plans, schedules and carries out personal care to around 1,500 service users a week.

The digitalisation and automation of scheduling of over 36,000 home care visits a week will save the council time and money, whilst improving communication with social care stakeholders.

The council’s care at home service operates seven days a week to help people remain as independent as they possibly can in their own home.

Historically, the task of planning visits and resources has been done manually, relying on a team’s local knowledge.

According to the council it was a ‘time-intensive’ process, and any optimisation or changes required to a schedule were done by hand.

This ‘proved troublesome’ because of the requirement to communicate any schedule changes to a mobile workforce of almost 1,000 home carers.

The modernised service is being rolled out in four localities over the next six months, starting with Hamilton this month.

Rutherlen and Cambuslang, Clydesdale and East Kilbride localities will follow in that order before the end of 2020.

Scott McNeill, service manager for registered Care at Home Services at South Lanarkshire said: “Modernising our Care at Home Service with Totalmobile enables us to direct more of our staff time towards supporting and makes us more efficient.

“We’d known for some time that our existing system had limited efficiency, it took one of our community support coordinators a day a week just scheduling jobs, and then inevitably changes had to be made. It was time intensive and reactive.”

A pilot was run initially in the Hamilton locality where Totalmobile’s Optimise, Mobilise and CareLink solutions were implemented.

Jobs were scheduled via Totalmobile’s field service management technology that optimises resource and journey planning.

It connects workers out in the field with the office via handheld mobile devices, and links to other stakeholders like GPs and the NHS service.

He added: “The initial roll out in Hamilton for 30 carers working on 1,000 visits per week began in March and it couldn’t have run more smoothly. In fact, we went straight from pilot to live implementation with the support of Totalmobile training the workforce on its easy-to-use interface.

“The support we have received from Totalmobile has been tremendous, as has been the positive feedback we’ve received from our workforce. We are now more efficient than we’ve ever been.”

The upgraded service now enables jobs to be rescheduled at short notice and avoid ‘wasting resource’ through staff attending last-minute cancellations.

It also optimises journey planning so that no more time ‘on the road’ is spent than is necessary.