Jackie Small: 3 minute read

Birmingham Children’s Trust has launched with ECLIPSE from OLM

Birmingham City Council is the largest local authority in Europe. They represent the largest number of constituents as a single authority, at more than one million. With so many depending on them for such a wide range of services, they knew that they needed to look to technology in order to create efficiencies. This is where they found ECLIPSE and a means in which to effectively change their working practices.

All local authorities have seen population growth boom alongside an increase in the expectation that has resulted in the need to do more with less. The Children’s Trust in Birmingham was no different and realised that a change was required in order to continue providing the best service possible to the children and young people of Birmingham.

ECLIPSE is a transformation tool for the Children’s Trust. They realised that the ECLIPSE software platform would be an enabler for the changes they wanted to make, following on from the move into a Children’s Trust as part of a planned change in 2018. The Children’s Services gaining Trust status brings fresh opportunities to improve services, innovate and drive up the quality of practice, to deliver on the City’s ambition to create a place where all young people are safe and can reach their full potential.

Areas that Birmingham Children’s Trust are addressing include:

  • Family Support and Prevention: bolstering services that support families to keep children and young people at home
  • Family Decision-Making: overhauling and investing in Family Group Conferences and Family Meetings, empowering families to find solutions and identify the support they need to stay together
  • Intensive Family Assessment: developing a model that offers a better alternative for the 6 courts than expensive independent assessments of families in legal proceedings
  • A new response to Contextual Safeguarding, with partners from Police, NHS and the Council

Agile, adaptable and mobile ready

Like other Children’s Services, Birmingham Children’s Trust is seeing the escalating impact on children’s lives of deprivation, housing problems, parental mental health, substance misuse, and domestic abuse. Additionally, in Birmingham, the impact of knife crime, gangs and ‘county lines’ creates new and additional risks and challenges for our young people. They knew they needed to work differently with their partners to find new solutions to some of these challenges. Birmingham Children’s Trust continues to be an active partner, with the Council, the Police, the NHS, and the voluntary and community sector, to improve partnership working across the city.

As a result of these changes, the operational requirements, workforce models, social care policy and its implementation will change over the coming years. The Trust recognised that this requires investment to refresh its mission-critical technical systems that will deliver a proven capability to underpin its wider service transformation.

The Trust needed a modern technology platform solution that is both adaptable and future proof as well as being able to meet the current requirements. Critically, ECLIPSE was chosen to enable effective collaborative working and facilitate communication within a complex, large-scale organisational structure. Birmingham Children’s Trust recognised that a modern social care service will become increasingly remote from the standard office environment as they seek to strengthen families and support individuals within their community, family and home.

Before the Trust could reap the benefits of the Cloud-native solution the data from previous systems needed to be migrated. 

Data Onboarding 

Through the dedication of teams on both sides of the coin, the data onboarding was completed on schedule. With such a large local authority, data records easily reach into the millions and this was the case in Birmingham. More than five million records were migrated into the system.

The data migration took 30 hours and involved 40 different data types. This equates to more than 160,000 records per hour being migrated across, with an impressive overall success rate of 99%.

The 2,000 users across the council are now live on ECLIPSE and they join the more than 25,000 ECLIPSE users across the country in a growing community of organisations that have looked ahead and chosen the Cloud Native solution.

A word from our founder

Peter O’Hara started OLM nearly 30 years ago with the single vision to make a difference to the lives of those affected by health and social care. Five years ago, he took the brave decision to re-develop the existing technology stack in order to create, ECLIPSE. It was a choice that many said he was crazy for making but it was one that he knew was right for the customers.

“Every time a new customer chooses to join the ECLIPSE community, I smile as it means that making the right choice was what was needed for the sector. Technology has become so entrenched in our lives that organisations need to embrace the efficiencies it can provide or risk falling to the side.

Increased demand has created a sector that needs responsible suppliers that can help guide them and give them time back to do their jobs. We are proud of ECLIPSE and the difference that it is making in Birmingham. 2,000 new users and millions of records are a testament to the dedication of the team on both sides. I welcome Birmingham into the ECLIPSE family with open arms and look forward to continuing with them on their journey.”