Agenda item

Adult Social Care: Point of First Contact Service

To receive an update on the Point of First Contact Service Design and the Implementation Plan for Adult Social Care, since the previous update in January 2020.



The Head of Access & Carers Services introduced and presented the item on the Point of First Contact Service area.


The Committee heard that the main aims of the redesign of the ‘Front Door’ service were as follows:

·       To harmonise the legacy service models that were in place prior to Local Government Reorganisation.

·       To provide more experienced practitioner support at the start of the process.

·       To promote an early intervention and prevention approach that will  reduce the number of referrals passing to community teams for long-term support.

·       For there to be a strengths-based approach that is compatible with the Council’s overarching organisational design.


The Committee were informed that the newly harmonised front door model had now been renamed as the ‘Adult Social Care Contact Centre’. This had been the result of listening to consultees’ concerns and assessing how best to utilise the services’ assets in order to best meet the users’ needs. Close work with colleagues in Community Development had helped develop the Together We Can initiative. This was a good example of the ever-increasing joint working between and across departments.


Members heard that Covid had unsurprisingly impacted the transformation programme. Since June 2020 all of the Contact Centre staff had been working remotely which had created certain challenges such as difficulties supporting call handlers dealing with distressed calls. Furthermore, home-working meant that legacy workers were unable to meet and develop as a single harmonised team, sharing their different and varied knowledge and expertise. The staff training programme had also been set back and Outreach Officers had been negatively impacted due to the restrictions over lockdown. The emerging outcomes data from January 2021 showed that 65% of all contacts had been resolved without the need for further assessments or a referral.

The next steps for the programme would include:

·       Embarking on further recruitment of outreach officers for home visits.

·       A new software system to be installed to enhance telephony services.

·       The service offer to be enhanced by the provision of occupational therapy input

·       A more interactive and intuitive online system to facilitate customer self-service where appropriate.

·       Improvements in linkage with carer support centre and overall connectivity in services.

·       To bring staff back together after Covid restrictions are eased and to facilitate cohort working in a single place.

·       Close working with strategic improvement partners to help develop the new Front Door service in line with the Council’s Customer Transformation project.


The Committee asked several questions following the report and answers were provided by the Head of Access & Carers Services.

·       A member asked for the contact number for the service and the Committee were informed that it was 01202 123654.

·       A member asked if the service were setting up any Community Hubs and whether there were any assets like libraries that could be used. The Head of Access & Carer Services explained that discussions on this matter were ongoing and that the aim was to reduce the need for long-distance travel and therefore a library hub was being explored in both Poole and Christchurch. Most contact still takes place over the phone however it is recognised that desk space and face-to-face meetings are needed within the service area.


RESOLVED that the Committee agreed to note the report and requested a progress report during the final quarter of 2021/2022.


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