After purchasing OLM’s MASH solution, Guardian, through the G-Cloud framework, Wolverhampton City Council came to us with an ambitious launch date. They wanted to be up and running within eight weeks. This fast implementation was an ambitious task as it included the Christmas break.
Before implementing, Wolverhampton, didn’t have a standing system that they utilised. They were an existing, CareFirst, customer but relied on cases being referred on a case-by-case basis, with no formal system in place to monitor outcomes. With the introduction of Guardian, Wolverhampton, are now able to effectively monitor cases and safeguard the lives of adults and children in the city.
The ambitious turnaround time was met on both sides, with Wolverhampton going live at the start of the New Year. With the purchase of the software being through the G-Cloud, rather than by traditional means, it was a new challenge for both teams. Everyone pulled together though, going above and beyond to deliver a finished project on time and within budget. The new MASH team worked directly with the IT and legal departments at the council, regularly linking with the police to establish effective information governance over the project. The police described, Guardian, as ‘the best system that they have worked with.’
Fiona Cozens, Social Care Systems Team Leader - Delivery, at Wolverhampton was the project lead on the integration. When asked about the launch, she said:
“The new system is brilliant. It is built for the specific requirements of a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub and it integrates effectively with, CareFirst, meaning that we don’t have to continually transfer data from system-to-system. We are able to store everything in one place and with buy-in from all our partners, effectively monitor cases as they arrive, with outcomes being turned around quickly. It was important to have a software system that supported the way we needed to work rather than one where we had to work in its constraints – I recommend Guardian to support anyone’s MASH process”
Fiona continued: “The implementation process had its ups and downs, but that was to be expected with the short turnaround. The system does exactly what we want it to do and we are currently conducting one-to-one training sessions with staff members to get them up to speed with the new system.
The team at OLM was great, providing regular support and updates to me and my team. It was a pleasure to work with them and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Guardian is a flexible and configurable Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) software application, built in partnership with Devon County Council, the original creators of MASH. It is specifically designed to support the recording and process management needs of the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub process. More than 20% of the UK’s MASH hubs now use OLM’s, Guardian.
Four months on from the January launch and users have had chance to get to grips with the new system. Users enjoy the speed at which it operates, the fact that it simply and easily colour codes cases to emphasise priority and at the end of referral audits make it easy for Managers to track.
User statements include:
‘Guardian has helped facilitate the gathering of information from external agencies in an efficient and timely manner.’
‘The colour coding has helped to focus workers to the urgency or in some cases non-urgent manner of the referral. This also extends to seeing agencies flagging up urgency enquiries on their end.’
‘The use of continuous saving has helped maintain information and relives the worry that members of staff had with previous systems.’
‘The audit at the end of the referral has given management the ability to easily see who has been providing information and who to tell to regarding the enquiry.’
‘The navigation is a lot easier to use and allows for smoother transitions.’
The West Midlands police described the system as ‘the best system that they have worked with
The stats speak for themselves
Within the first six weeks of using Guardian, 319 cases were added to the system, which is the equivalent to more than 50 cases per week. 73 of these were classified as red and needing urgent referral. Guardian helped facilitate the efficient referral of these cases, so that those in danger, received the support that they needed.