Connected Care Camp explores how we can improve the wider care sector

Connected Care

Connected Care is an area that the Patchwork team are really passionate about.

Through the stories we hear from the people we work with when developing Patchwork, we know there are many challenges facing the care sector:

– How can health and care services support people who are lonely and isolated?
– How can we support more connected communities?
– How could doctors, nurses, social workers and support staff better coordinate care planning?
– How can we support people with disabilities to live more independent and fulfilling lives?
– How can digital technologies can give people more control of their care and support?
– How can digital technology  help to support carers & care networks?

That’s why we’re excited about Connected Care Camp, an event that will bring together front line staff, managers, people who use health and care services to explore how we can improve the wider care sector.

Taking place on 7 December 2013, the event is being led by Shirley Ayres, one of the sector’s leading voices on Connected Care.

Connected Care Camp is part of the Public Service Launchpad, a programme that will help turn early stage ideas into successful projects, by giving innovators access to the support they need to get their ideas off the ground.

Find out more about Connected Care Camp and book your place here

If you can’t make the event, you can follow along and join in on Twitter using the hashtag #psicare. We’ll also be covering the goings on of the day on this blog.

You can also an idea to our Simpl Challenges page and add reference ‘Connected Care’ so we know your idea is related to Connected Care Camp.

To help us organise the day and better engage the wider community via social media, Shirley Ayres is running a survey to better inform the content of the event. Click here to take the survey.

So if you have ideas about how we can fix the many challenges confronting the care sector, make sure come along to Connected Care Camp or find out more about the Public Service Launchpad.

Introducing Circles

We have been working on a new feature called Circles for a while now and are happy to announce that it is now live.   At the moment circles is very much a working title, as people use the feature we’ll listen to understand what they’re calling it and adopt that language and develop the feature further.

What is it?

Circles is a way for you to add people to your client’s personal network. These can be family members, people living at the same address, or anyone who has an important or significant relationship with that client. By adding them to the Circle you can share with other Agents your knowledge of these relationships and their potential impact on your client’s life. In turn everyone in that Client’s team can then see which agents are working with members of that network.

How does it work?


On your client’s team page, there is a new tab called “Circle”.  If no one has added anyone to the Circle the page won’t have any content. It is important for all agents to share their knowledge of the Client’s network by Adding to the Circle. You can do this by clicking “Add to Circle”.

You can add any of your Clients to the Circle by selecting the checkboxes and then clicking the green “Add to circle” button. These people will then be added to this client’s circle and vice versa. You can only add your own clients. As more members of the team add to the circle you will start to build a bigger picture of your client’s greater network and the agents working with those people.

If an agent adds someone to the circle who isn’t your client, instead of a “View Team” button under their name, there will be a “Join Team” button. To view this person and the agents working with them you will have to join their team.

We hope this becomes a valuable new feature for you. This is an initial release and we know there is still work to do on it so, as always, please share any input, feedback or issues you have with it. We have a short questionnaire here it would be great to hear your thoughts.

Patchwork and Staffordshire County Council Runners Up in The Guardian Public Service Awards 2013


Patchwork was announced as a runner up in the Digital category of the The Guardian Public Service Awards 2013, through our work in Staffordshire.

Our partners at Staffordshire County Council has been fantastic and they are doing some great work to make Patchwork happen in their area. We know that Patchwork works even better when people throw their commitment behind it, and Staffordshire are an excellent team to be working with.

Thanks to in particular Nicki Edge, County Commissioner for Community Wellbeing in Staffordshire, and her team for their brilliant work.

The competition was tough for the awards, with a record number of entries received in the 10th year of the awards. You can read about the winner in the Digital category and the rest of the award winners over on the Guardian Public Leaders Network.

Here is the entry from the Guardian’s Best Practice Exchange on Patchwork or you can read more below.

If you want to find out more about how Patchwork could work for your council, please get in touch with Dominic Campbell.

Patchwork - Guardian Public Service Awards

In theory, disparate professionals from various public and third-sector agencies supporting vulnerable families not only know of each other’s shared involvement in the case, but how best to get hold of each other.

Yet, as proved by a succession of social care scandals, the reality can be very different.

Tragedies such as the Baby Peter case led to the creation of Staffordshire county council’s contact details system, Patchwork. Patchwork is not a case management tool, but a way for frontline staff working with children and families to discover others involved in those they care for.

“Patchwork is a web-based communication tool which reveals the network of practitioners working with a client,” explains Emily Skeet, commissioning manager at Staffordshire county council. “It also allows for voluntary-sector contacts to be involved – they often don’t have the same access as statutory agencies to technical case management systems.”

Frontline staff, such as district and county council contacts, fire service and social workers, log on to the web-based system and enter the name of a client. They immediately see which other agencies and professionals are supporting their client and are alerted to the best way to communicate with them, whether mobile, landline or email.