Page 1 @patchworkhq

Patchwork Let’s design better support for families together.


What is it?

Developed together with practitioners, Patchwork is a simple, secure web tool that connects professionals working with families. It allows practitioners from different organisations to quickly and simply access the contact details of other frontline staff working with their clients. In doing so it helps professionals to uncover the hidden network of practitioners around their clients, supporting frontline staff to connect and provide more joined up services. We have implemented Patchwork for those working with children, supporting vulnerable adults and from the Autumn with practitioners supporting Troubled Families. Patchwork is accompanied by a bespoke change programme delivered by FutureGov, which drives more coordinated support for children and families.


Patchwork | Multi Agency Tool | A guide to the tool and the project


Patchwork connects not just the agencies but also the agents working with a family to one another to promote multi agency working and a joined up approach.


The Story So Far

From Child Protection to Troubled Families. Shocked and saddened as the details of the Baby Peter case emerged, we were struck by the missed connections between practitioners working with the family day to day. While the case was highly complex, it inspired us to ask a simple question: ‘How can we design web tech with practitioners that connects them across their different organisations as they work to keep children safe?’ To find a radical answer, we took a radical approach. Seed-funded by NESTA, we worked with practitioners from all agencies in Lichfield in Staffordshire to deeply understand the challenges they face. Our aim was to build a web tool entirely designed by and for the frontline staff who use it. Above all else, practitioners said they want to know who is working with their clients. We designed to this simple brief and trialled the Patchwork prototype in Lichfield, with practitioners working with children and those working with vulnerable adults, to encouraging early feedback. Since the trial, Patchwork has been further backed by NESTA and Nominet Trust, with additional investment from our partners at Staffordshire County Council, and we continue to develop the tool. Initially designed around children, we have responded to practitioners’ feedback and are making the tool connect professionals around a whole family rather than just individuals. Accordingly, Patchwork is now being rolled out in Staffordshire as part of the county’s Troubled Families programme. Brighton and Hove council has also implemented Patchwork, supported by our ongoing bespoke change management programme and feeding into its development. Together we are building a movement for change, creating a new way of designing, prototyping and implementing technology-led organisational change within local government. 6

Patchwork | Multi Agency Tool | A guide to the tool and the project

Conducted research with practitioners to understand some of the challenges. Gained valuable insights about the importance of networks and flexible, lightweight technology and high case loads.

Investment from Staffordshire County Council as they became partners in Patchwork. Implemented in Brighton and Staffordshire, where we continue to work with practitioners


Designing with our partners

Patchwork isiseasy Patchwork easy to use, and delightful use, at the designed withto users designed with users at heart. the heart. We believe that design should be done with and not done to people. That’s why the further development of the Patchwork app remains an open and collaborative process. By becoming a partner, your local authority can contribute to the direction in which the technology evolves. The app will continue to be developed together with practitioners and clients, as well as technology and information governance leads, to ensure that the roadmap responds to the needs of the people we are working to support. By involving staff from the beginning it allows them to both design something that meets their needs and more easily adopt new and sustainable ways of working. We believe this is quite different from the traditional software suppliers’ approach.


Patchwork | Multi Agency Tool | A guide to the tool and the project



Key Features. Add and maintain client contact details Practitioners are able to quickly and easily maintain their list of clients in the tool. It is simple to update, ensuring that all practitioners have access to the most up to date information at all times.

See at a glance which agencies are working with their client and how to contact them Patchwork reveals the hidden network of practitioners working with a client meaning users are able to instantly know who they should be contacting to join up the services they provide.


Patchwork | Multi Agency Tool | A guide to the tool and the project

Invite others into the client’s team It’s not always easy to know how to go about referring a client to another service, and it can mean practitioners spending hours on the phone trying to find the right person to speak to or even the right team. Patchwork allows them to invite others into the team in a matter of clicks.

Alert others when they have concern about a client Likewise it’s not always easy for practitioners to alert one another about niggling concerns that they have about a client. Patchwork allows practitioners to flag to one another when they feel that a client needs extra attention.

Maintain their own contact details Everyone works differently. Patchwork allows the user to decide how best to be contacted, along with making it simple for them to update their details if they get a new phone number, job title or office location.


Why is it good?

Benefits. Understanding the full picture Patchwork connects practitioners so that together they can make decisions about the best support for their clients. Knowing who else is involved with a client helps a practitioner to understand how their support fits into that picture.

Earlier Intervention Getting the right people talking earlier leads to a better outcome for the client. Patchwork fills the gap before more formal thresholds like CAF and lets practitioners coordinate to stop escalation and the need for more resource.

Build Relationships Traditionally rigid silos can be broken down quickly by knowing who is in the picture - and having made contact, practitioners can quickly establish relationships across organisations, helping to better deliver services together.

Save Time Patchwork has been designed to make life easier for frontline staff, so that they don’t have to waste time calling around, trying to find out which other agencies are working with their client. It means less time at their desk, and more time to spend with people.


Patchwork | Multi Agency Tool | A guide to the tool and the project


Change and implementation

We’re realistic about what it takes to make change happen - and make it stick. We are experienced in managing change in complex environments and can work closely with you to implement Patchwork. We are not your normal supplier. With a background in local government, we believe in delivering Patchwork in genuine partnership with councils. Our approach is flexible and we adapt it to suit your organisation’s needs; there are four elements:

Defining your needs Initially we will work with you to understand how Patchwork fits into your overall strategy and to plan implementation. Factors like which partner agencies to involve when; the numbers of practitioners and families; current ways of working; existing technology used; and data sharing practices all affect how we implement Patchwork and vary between local authority area. We will work with you to identify these factors and create a solid plan for implementation.

The Patchwork App The app is at the heart of our offer and will be switched on at the right time for the right groups of practitioners.


Patchwork | Multi Agency Tool | A guide to the tool and the project

Defining needs

Patchwork App and bespoke change programme

Ongoing support

Bespoke change programme We use our change management expertise to support the implementation of Patchwork. Tailored with you, we offer engagement and communications support to increase practitioners’ take-up of the tool; codesign and product development, allowing you to have a say in Patchwork’s future; impact evaluation, building the case for wider change; ongoing project management; total cost analysis of interventions; mapping the family’s journey; culture change activities; and other bespoke support according to your organisation’s needs.

Ongoing support We offer ongoing technical support, updates and fixes, user manuals and guides, as well as community management with practitioners. We regularly gather their feedback to inform the development of the tool, making sure Patchwork remains useful and delightful for practitioners.


Who are we?

We are FutureGov. Over the past 4 years we have worked with more than 50 clients on digital innovation, drawing on our design, technology and change skills to help identify challenges and work with users to define and deliver solutions. We have worked across the UK with Districts, Unitaries and Counties from Surrey to Staffordshire, Brighton to Camden. Passionate about innovation in public services, we work with authorities who want to bring innovation to how they approach and deliver services. We have expertise in a broad range of areas, and are happy to talk to you about what your organisation needs.


Patchwork | Multi Agency Tool | A guide to the tool and the project


Working with us

If you’re looking at how to better connect the network of professionals working with families, contact us for a chat about how and where Patchwork can help. Patchwork is currently being used to support multi-agency working with children, vulnerable adults and soon troubled families, but can be used in any multiagency context. We work with any authority that wants a different kind of relationship with their supplier and is willing to enter into a partnership in which there is openness and a shared sense of purpose. We look forward to designing the next phase of Patchwork with you and your practitioners.


Patchwork | Multi Agency Tool | A guide to the tool and the project

Contact us @patchworkhq Hub Westminster 1st floor New Zealand House 80 Haymarket London SW1Y 4TE, UK

Project Partners:


An introduction to patchwork, an app that connects practitioners working around a child or families to encoruage more joined up working.


An introduction to patchwork, an app that connects practitioners working around a child or families to encoruage more joined up working.