North Tyneside

North Tyneside

Redesigning the front door to social care for adults and children’s services

North Tyneside
4 months

North Tyneside Council commissioned FutureGov as part of an ambitious transformation programme that involved rethinking its services around the needs of users. It looked to introduce new ways of working and aimed to save over £50 million within two years.

The last six months has taught me that the FutureGov way is the right way. That we just have to get on, work in sprints and make things happen. So that's what we're going to do.

– Lisa Clarke, Transformation Director

We began by setting up a lab to build capacity internally and share our design knowledge. This was put into practice via a project to redesign the entry point for social care - an area we’re particularly experienced in having worked with five councils on similar projects.

Together with the transformation team and key figures from social care, we considered two briefs: “How might we build confidence within a wide range of stakeholders to recognise, explore and respond to low-level social care concerns” and “­How might we rebalance the relationships between social care partners, agencies and the council?”.


Fewer referrals through the front door by increasing access to better information, advice and guidance services (if implemented)


Savings from making earlier decisions in children’s services and undertaking less investigations that resulted in no action

It became clear that the current model was failing - pressures on response times and anxiety around how best to deal with callers meant that frontline staff didn’t feel equipped to meet user needs. In addition, there were significant service failings for users throughout the social care system and too many residents were automatically put onto expensive care packages. This led us to think that assets within the local community weren’t being used effectively.

We created a range of tools to address these issues, including:

We were also tasked with putting together a capability transfer programme that focussed on agile project management, user research and creating a culture of prototyping.

The council is now adopting a range of solutions through prototyping within the front door team. These include:

If our solutions are implemented, we anticipate a reduction in adult social care referrals by up to 50% and reduced assessment volumes by 30%. As a result, £900,000 in savings would be realised through earlier decision making.

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