Liverpool City Council delivers essential services to vulnerable citizens

with Civica’s Community Helper

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11th May 2020

The Council is using Civica’s cloud platform to meet unprecedented community demand during COVID-19 

Liverpool City Council has implemented Civica’s Community Helper digital cloud solution to help deliver emergency support to citizens shielding and self-isolating as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Liverpool has brought in Community Helper to support its Covid-19 response, which includes delivery of emergency food parcels, prescriptions and social contact support to vulnerable people. The system is now used to manage incoming enquiries as well as to coordinate volunteer and partner agencies, such as the Merseyside Fire Service, which is assisting with deliveries during the pandemic. 

The Council is receiving a large number of requests per day, with more than 900 enquiries for support during just one week in April.  Prior to implementing Community Helper, the Council was using up to 15 separate spreadsheets to coordinate incoming requests and manage the service. The new Civica system has automated all processes making it easier to coordinate requests, remove errors and speed up delivery of key services for citizens. 

Building on the iCasework cloud platform, which is already used by more than 50 councils in the UK, as well as a number of central government departments, Community Helper allows councils to co-ordinate support to their most vulnerable residents during the current pandemic. It offers a way to manage requests securely, with smart routing to rapidly match and direct incoming demand to service providers, volunteers or other agencies who are able to help. The digital platform is easy to use, quick to implement and highly secure, meaning it can be operational within hours. 

The system imports shielded and vulnerable people lists, enabling Liverpool to have a single view of an individual’s data in one place, vital to understand overall demand, avoid duplication and errors and process requests rapidly. The system’s fast reporting function allows the Council to create several reports daily, removing manual processes and saving hours each day. 

The Council can also manage its people resource more effectively as it can identify peaks and troughs of activity ahead of time and manage any backlogs. 

Will Costello, Head of Digital Services at Liverpool City Council said: “Community Helper has had a dramatic impact in Liverpool and the delivery of COVID-19 crisis support to residents. It has enabled us to streamline many of the business processes involved in delivering the service and is enabling more insightful decision making to be made based around demand and key reporting. 

“The Community Helper platform has not only provided us with a solution for the current situation, but also has the potential to continue to be relevant and help Liverpool City Council support the voluntary community sector in the future.”     

Civica Executive Director Steve Thorn added: “We’re delighted to support Liverpool City Council as it works around the clock to manage increased demand from vulnerable citizens in the community, helping it deliver much needed services quickly and efficiently at this critical time. Working with Liverpool, we’ve created a simple solution that enables the Council to quickly import existing shield lists and manage these systematically, ensuring they know exactly who is doing what and with up-to-the-minute status of every case.” 

While Liverpool City Council may see a decrease in emergency need over the coming months, it does anticipate the service being in demand for at least the next 12-18 months. The Council will benefit from being able to look back at the data and understand how it can better look after citizens and changing needs in the future.