We had the pleasure of officially launching Patchwork, our brand new safeguarding app. on Thursday 27 September. Developed over three years, it was a real honour to proudly share Patchwork with the fantastic group of people who turned up to celebrate with us, from like-minded social care experts, to practitioners, and techies.
Coram’s Fields Youth Centre was a fitting venue for the launch of a product which is all about the needs and interests of families and their practitioners. We got to hear short talks from a whole range of social care experts – including those involved in the co-design and piloting of the app.
First up was our very own Dominic Campbell, who told a little of the story behind Patchwork, showed how the app works, and shared his passion for improving local public services. You can read a bit more from Dom in last week’s Guardian.
Straight after Dom was Professor David Wastell (from the University of Nottingham), who talked us through a range of problems in existing ICT systems and where they’ve spectacularly failed. Luckily though, co-designing and taking a generally more open approach to development, like Patchwork has done, can make a real difference to the success of a project.
[Note: while we pride ourselves in our open approach as a company, this video has unfortunately been removed at the request of the speaker and a system supplier mentioned in the video]
Long-time friend of FutureGov Paul Fallon, an independent safeguarding professional, gave us his opinion of the current state of play in the social care world – by his own admittance “a bit of a rant”.
After Paul it was time for the breakout groups, giving people the opportunity to network and discuss, question and debate aspects of Patchwork in greater detail. The chatter ranged from where and how Patchwork sits in the wider troubled families agenda, all the way to the technical nitty gritty of getting the app set up. Following the break and some delicious cupcakes, we heard from Nina Dawes, Chief Executive of Lichfield District Council, who had the early courage to seed fund Patchwork and allow access to social care professionals, and has been instrumental in its success.
We also heard from Sharon Moore, who, as County Commissioner for Safer Communities in Staffordshire has really pioneered the use of Patchwork in the county.