An aging population requires ever more resources from councils – by some estimates over 1/3rd of local government spending is on social care, much of it supporting the  elderly at home.

Birmingham City Council is Europe’s largest local authority and wanted to understand if technology could help support their elderly residents retain their independence and stay at home longer. They and two other councils bid for Local Digital Fund support for a discovery project.

They came to Goldfish to manage the project and help understand what the end users really wanted from technology.

We did that but then also helped develop a model for national not-for-profit homecare service, which could use AI to save £100ms in homecare costs and improve the lives of  10,000s of people

The big picture

Technology can clearly help people stay in their homes. But the elderly are not one homogenous mass. They have very different needs, different attitudes to technology, with different mixtures of formal/informal carers who themselves have different levels of confidence with tech. And lots of different technologies. So how do you get to understand all these customers and create a system that can cope with that range of variables?

What we delivered
  • Manage the project to deliver a report to the Local Digital Fund

    Even with a small consortium of three councils and a university there was a mix of experience and aspirations. For example, some councils were more advanced than others in their homecare provision and each had a different population mix. All this needed to be understood and managed to achieve the outcome. We delivered a 100+ report to LDF with bold recommendations for the next stage.

  • Understand the user needs

    Through focus groups and research we came to understand the huge range of customer needs and abilities in the target audience. In our experience one size rarely fits all but this.

  • Transform homecare in the UK

    This wasn’t in the original brief but we came to see an entrepreneurial opportunity to set up a not-for-profit which will make a huge improvement to how technology is used in homecare. We are now working with the consortium councils to raise funding to set it up. We’re doing it because it is a good thing to do and let’s be honest, it is one service we are all going to need at some point in our lives.