Working with the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic, past, present, and future.
For more than a year since COVID-19 changed how we live and work, Civica, along with our customers, has successfully adapted to a very different world.
In the spring of 2020, we were an early signatory to the C-19 Business Pledge. We focused on safeguarding our people and communities and ensuring the successful ongoing provision of our business-critical software and services. That focus has been maintained throughout the pandemic and in a similar way across all our countries, we operate in.
We responded with new resources and rapid innovations, including the COVIDCare app delivered in March 2020 for the Northern Ireland Department of Health to later in 2020, a contact solution to support local track and trace in the London Borough of Redbridge. Across all the parts of the public sector that we support, we have responded to the needs of the customers and communities we serve, applying and adapting our software.
We have been delighted to receive significant recognition, from individual awards for our people and as an employer of choice, to our cloud and digital solutions such as Best Cloud Finance Solution for our work with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We recognise that many customers are looking to build on new and stronger ways of working and are also focused on accelerating the adoption of new technologies.
Supporting our Employees
Our priority remains the physical and mental well-being of all our colleagues. Our teams continue to do an amazing job, responding to our changing working world with exceptional resilience and flexibility. Underpinned by our strong operating platform, this continues to sustain our business activities.
We’ve worked hard to proactively provide guidance and support for our people, from keeping remote workers engaged to our mental health champions and free-to-access Employee Assistance programme. We’ve enhanced how we communicate and continue to look for new ways to share ideas and inspiration. We have gathered and reacted to feedback via regular Pulse surveys and will continue to do that throughout 2021.
We continue to adapt our approach in line national government guidance in each of the countries we operate within.
In regions where facilities can be accessed, we have adopted a blended working model with colleagues able to work safely and flexibly at various locations including our hub offices. . This is made possible by our workspace booking app and supported by attendance tracking and comprehensive arrangements to protect colleagues' safety. For many of our colleagues, working from home continues to be the primary arrangement for now. Our Incident Response and People teams continue to look for ways to support our colleagues and enhance these working practices, and we continue to invest in our physical spaces to provide our people with a more engaging and agile environment.
Providing tools and resources for our customers
Alongside business as usual for our customers, we've worked hard to support the national and local level response through practical, innovative and updated software capability. We have delivered a range of new capabilities quickly, such as those listed below, and continue to provide system advice, configuration and data insights to ensure effective action.
- Health & Care Northern Ireland
The first app of its kind in the UK & Ireland developed and launched with the Northern Ireland Department of Health in less than 10 days. This app helped reduce the pressure on the 111 helpline and saw the daily call centre volumes reduced from 6,000 to less than 1,000
Southern Health & Social Care Trust
An innovative mobile app developed in four weeks ensured vital information was shared with the Trust’s 13,000 employees, including contract and agency staff, without regular corporate systems access. Still in use, today; the Connect app provides an information hub with notifications and alerts, along with chatbot functionality to support and learn from employee requests.
- Local Govt and Social Housing
Community Helper software
Built on the iCasework platform to help local authorities co-ordinate rapid support for vulnerable people while minimising safeguarding risks. Securely manages requests with smart routing to rapidly match and direct these to agencies and volunteers. With the initial partnership with Liverpool City Council in 2020, the digital platform is easy to use, quick to implement and highly secure.
Supporting Revenues and Benefits teams
When the UK Government announced a series of six measures to support businesses and Council Taxpayers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, local authorities needed to respond rapidly to ensure businesses and vulnerable citizens were protected.
We quickly created software solutions for the two largest measures, Business Rates Grant fund and the Council Tax Hardship fund. Our software supported 43 OPENRevenues customers to provide over £1.6bn in critical Business Rates Grants within the first few weeks of the pandemic. Our Council Tax Hardship Fund module has enabled the reduction of bills by up to a further £150 for working-age Council Tax support recipients. Processing the entire caseload in minutes meant local authorities were helping those vulnerable people who needed it fast.
Supporting social housing tenants
We assisted social housing teams to re-focus resources and provide vital support to tenants. Our software was applied to reduce homelessness by providing emergency accommodation and managing direct hardship credits for those struggling with payments. Also, Civica software-enabled repairs staff to deliver food and other essential services to vulnerable people.
- Health & Care
Trac e-recruitment software
We provided a rapid response to COVID-19 legislation to streamline recruitment and get the right candidates into posts quickly, including assistance to NHS recruiters and fast-tracking DBS checks. A record number of DBS checks were processed in a single day by the team (over 1,600).
We have worked with hospitals in the UK and Australia to support patient feedback and surveys in a virtual environment using the Civica Experience platform. This has enabled feedback to be obtained in real-time, ensuring that patient concerns were not being missed and helped identify priority patients or those that need additional support.
OPAS cloud software has been used to manage administrative and clinical activities associated with screening staff during their current deployments or any on-boarding process for new roles. This enabled frontline staff to complete placement assessments remotely, supporting the re-deployment of existing or returning staff to frontline roles, as well as the management of clinical testing.
- Local Public Service
TranSend electronic Proof-of-Delivery mobile app
Our TranSend delivery app was adapted with simple-to-use workflow and key features to enable critical supplies to be delivered to those in need, with clear instructions for drivers and proof of delivery obtained. Civica offered this free of charge for essential services, e.g. delivery to vulnerable citizens, school meals, fire services.
- HR and Payroll
HR & Payroll
We modified our Payroll software in response to the significant issues faced by all organisations in the UK and elsewhere to implement and administer new employment support schemes– such as furlough – and provide supporting management information. In addition, we provided emergency payroll and BACS services with rapid set-up to ensure critical payroll processes were maintained and employees were paid on time.
Helping our Communities
In challenging times, people take great comfort from supporting and helping their colleagues and their wider community. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve actively encouraged our colleagues to support their local communities including through our Donate-a-Day scheme. Our people continue to help with causes close to their hearts including providing direct support to people in their local communities.