Insights from public service leaders

81% of public service leaders identified chatbots as being relevant to improving their support to those aged 70 and over

 

We conducted a UK-wide survey with public sector leaders across government, healthcare and social housing.

Our study identified ten key findings with the main aim to help together further support the over 70s in our community.

1. Resources mainly dedicated to younger generation

Public service leaders outlined roughly how much of their organisations time and resources are used to deliver services to and support the over 70s:

  • 31% do not dedicate any time or resources
  • 34% up to 25%
  • 14% between 26% and 50%
  • 6% between 51% and 75%
  • 3% over 75%

In comparison, all public service leaders confirmed spending at least 25% of time and resources on those aged 25-49

2. Over half currently provide technology education services for citizens

When asked if their organisation offers an education service (e.g. walk-in centre, online help guides, training etc.) to educate citizens, public service leaders said:

  • 58% currently do have 
  • 28% currently don't, but are planning to
  • 12% don't and have no plans to

3. Healthcare sector leads the way in technology education services

Public service leaders confirmed that the healthcare sector currently leads the way in providing tech education services for citizens.

  • 72% healthcare
  • 68% local government
  • 50% social housing
  • 44% central and regional government

4. Actively involve citizens in designing services and processes

Overall, public service leaders confirmed they do actively involve citizens (such as in e.g. focus/user groups, surveys etc.) in designing services and process:

  • 81% do actively involve citizens
  • 16% do not actively involve citizens
  • 3% didn't know

The results remained very positive across core sectors for those who do actively involve citizens:

  • 100% social housing
  • 91% local government
  • 84% healthcare
  • 81% central and regional government

5. However, over 70s not included as much as younger age groups in service design

From those who do include citizens in service design, leaders confirmed that younger citizens are more involved:

  • 47% actively involve citizens aged between 0 - 24
  • 84% actively involve citizens aged between 25 - 29
  • 52% actively involve citizens aged between 50 - 69
  • 31% actively involve citizens aged over 70

The results varied across core sectors for those who do actively involve citizens aged 70 and over:

  • 60% local government
  • 43% healthcare
  • 25% social housing
  • 15% central and regional government

6. Only half have specific services designed for those aged 70 and over

When asked if they have any specific services designed to support those aged 70 and over, public service leaders confirmed:

  • 59% do have specific services
  • 39% don't have specific services
  • 2% didn't know

The results remained positive across core sectors for those who do have specific services for citizens aged 70 and over:

  • 80% healthcare
  • 64% local government
  • 50% social housing
  • 44% central and regional government

7. Under a quarter plan to have specific services in place in the next 12 months

For those who currently did not have specific services designed for those over 70, public service leaders confirmed:

  • 23% plan to have in place in the next 12 months
  • 53% plan to have in place (longer than 12 months)
  • 24% don't plan to

 

8. View AI and chatbots as key technologies to help support the over 70s

When asked if time and money were not barriers, leaders ranked their top 5 'relevant' technologies to help them improve their support for the over 70s:

  • 83% AI
  • 81% predictive analytics
  • 81% chatbots
  • 80% smart wearable and home applications
  • 74% mobile applications

9. Key barrier to using new technologies is with skills in the over 70s

When asked what they felt were the main barriers to using this technology, leaders ranked the following:

  • 44% skills and knowledge in citizens aged 70 and over
  • 36% legacy IT systems
  • 35% budget constraints
  • 31% security concerns
  • 28% skills and knowledge within their organisation

10. Improving business continuity and resilience is the key priority over the next 12 months

Public service leaders ranked their top 3 'high priorities' over the next 12 months:

  • 42% improving business continuity and resilience
  • 37% building a stronger platform for future innovation
  • 36% overcoming budget constraints

 

31%

of public service leaders actively involve over 70s in service design

58%

of public services provide citizen technology education services

83%

of leaders feel AI technology can improve support for the over 70s

It is incumbent upon all organisations to remember that, as we work our way through the COVID-19 crisis, the use of technology is only going to increase and we must ensure nobody is left behind or unsupported in our communities. 

Tony Hughes, Executive Director for Local Government, Civica

Public sector organisations have been extremely impressive at adapting to the pandemic, and as we look to build back better, I encourage them to take on board these valuable insights.

Julian David, CEO, techUK


Join the conversation as together we explore how we can improve public services for everyone - #AWordFromTheWise

A Word from the Wise study methodology
  • The A Word from the Wise citizen survey was conducted by independent market research specialist, Censuswide, on behalf of Civica. A total of 2,123 citizens over the age of 18 (including 1,001 aged 70 and over) from across the UK were surveyed in May 2020
  • The A Word from the Wise public sector leader survey was conducted by independent market research specialists, Censuswide, on behalf of Civica. A total of 120 public sector leaders (weighted for even spread of organisational type) across the UK were surveyed in May 2020
  • The A Word from the Wise focus groups were held with UK citizens aged over 70 in Aberdeen, Bristol, Lisburn and Manchester during December 2019