UK EO Awards winner: Huge social benefit to redesigned service

Radical changes to services to those with memory problems in Brighton and Hove has seen service provider Here win Employee Owned Innovation of the Year.

The not-for-profit business, which was established in 2008 and employs 150 people providing community care, redesigned its service after taking in a broad range of feedback that demonstrated that the organisations KPIs for its Memory Assessment Service (MAS) were not what mattered most to those that the service was caring for.

As part of this redesign, they refocussed their service, moving away from an approach which was based on asking clients ‘What’s the matter?’ to a service which was measured by speed of assessment and diagnosis, working through a new lens of ‘What matters to you?’.

Kate Ludlow, Consultant at Saxton Bampfylde, said: “In judging this I liked how Here really demonstrated how their ownership model enabled them to fully engage with the people who delivered the service and those who experience the service. They identified a clear problem that they wanted to address and through their ownership structure, established an approach that engaged the whole organisation to come together to establish the solution.”

The service which is run in partnership with SPFT (Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust), Alzheimer’s Society and the Carers’ Centre to deliver better outcomes for people with dementia and memory problems found that for 70% of their clients the first priority was the need for support, and not diagnosis.

Using its co-owned membership structure, which is open to all employees as well as GPs, practice managers and nurses partner organisations to join, Here quickly set up the MAS working group to set about redesigning the service and subsequently decided to invest £73k into funding memory support workers to have meaningful conversations with people at the point of referral.

This was immediately backed up by a Befriending Service and Peer Support Groups to help address the loneliness and isolation that people with memory problems, their families and carers experience, ahead of their diagnosis. By turning the process around, much needed support is now received much earlier to those affected, with 94% of service users saying that the redesign service has delivered benefit to them.

Anne Segall, Group HR Director,BMT Group Ltd, said:. “By redesigning their service so people with memory problems and their families get support from the point of referral ahead of waiting for a diagnosis, this innovation tackles a real social need and is making a big difference. What is impressive is that this innovation has come from an idea from employees, in collaboration with carers, family members and other interested parties, that intrinsically linked to Here being employee owned, which is what made this the Judges winner.”