Ben Shelley: 4 minute read

ECLIPSE User Community Day

Built alongside practitioners is what we tell prospective customers and it is true. As an organisation, we are beholden to no shareholders and free to design software and services that work alongside the user. We created our ECLIPSE Software and Services Platform to make a difference and designed it with end-users.

In a time when most local authorities are transitioning into a new era of service delivery, we wanted to work alongside them. Not to re-use what was already available but to invest and create a software and services platform that would work alongside them, providing a helping hand for the next 15 years.

To this end, we made sure that we took the time to design ECLIPSE to meet the needs of the end-user. Spending time with them to observe and suggest, taking in thoughts and opinions to guide ECLIPSE and make it the award-winning platform that it is today. Something that we didn’t want to only consider at the start of the journey but throughout the process.

Continual innovation for practitioners

To continue learning and adapting we have created a number of user groups. These customer days bring together colleagues from across the sector in order to share and discuss ideas around key themes within the health and social care. From discussion comes change and we firmly believe this as an organisation.

Caroline Dinage MP said earlier this year that whilst the Green Paper will be forthcoming it will not be the magic bullet that many are looking for. The underlying message here is that those within social care need to ‘get on with it’, waiting for the government will only lead to additional delays.

With waiting lists longer than a child’s Christmas List the time to act is now. By bringing together practitioners with software suppliers such as ourselves, we can discuss problems and look at potential solutions together. We already have a successful and long-running user group in Scotland and with the launch of the England and Wales group, can share ideas across the UK.

Yesterday saw the launch of the inaugural English and Wales User Group. Taking place in Birmingham, we welcomed local authorities from across England and Wales to discuss topics such as vulnerable children, Liberty Protection Standards and partnership working with other agencies. It was a full day, packed with representatives from adults and children’s social care.

Continually learning from practitioners

Discussions were passionate and delivered from the heart with everyone looking to enact change and get on with things. Including a mixture of leadership representation with practitioners on the ground, a perfect mix was created to enable discourse over the future of social care. A subject which has received increased public representation over the last year.

It is an important branch of care and should not be left to one side in favour of the NHS. Health and social care are two sides of the same coin and a recurring discussion thread was how to could they further join agencies together. This had the benefit of ensuring that shared data between agencies creates a clearer picture of the person in need who is standing there asking for help.

Multi-agency working is a key part of future care. It is something that will further enable person-centred care by providing practitioners with all of the information and shared resources required to care. At the moment resources are stretched and delays are inevitable. By working together, learning from each other by combining the efforts of the public and private sectors we can create lasting change.

What does the future hold?

No-one knows at this point with the election up in the air. Each day shows a different party out in front. Will it be Labour? Will it be the Conservatives or will the Liberal Democrats push through with their promises of cancelling Brexit? It’s too close to call and a likely outcome will be a minority government.

Regardless of the election outcome, one thing is certain, uncertainty will follow the UK for years to come. The Brexit effect will linger, whether that is through a no-deal scenario or via the cancellation of one of the most controversial public votes in recent memory. With such a future on the horizon, we need to stand firm alongside the public and do right by those who need our help.

Our ECLIPSE User Groups bring together practitioners and thought leaders in order to discuss ideas and develop strategies that will create lasting change. Whilst we are uncertain as to the election result as of right now, we are certain that bringing together customers, listening to them and acting on those discussions is the right thing to do.

ECLIPSE Software and Services Platform

With 25,000 users relying on ECLIPSE each and every day we need to ensure that it is fit for purpose. This is why we always design alongside those who will be using the software which sounds on the surface to be an obvious addition but it can very easily be overlooked. How many times have you seen new shops appear on the high street only to be closed down by the time Father Christmas arrives?

You can very easily get carried with an idea that you believe will be revolutionary but without doing the research it can lead to early closure. Designing alongside the end-user is essential as is consistently updating the software, service or concept in question as needs change. This is why we place the customer at the heart of what we do.

OLM is slowly moving towards its 30th year in operation (2021) and we do so with the shared drive of making life easier for our customers. We believe in ECLIPSE and believe in our customers, we trust in them to help us shape the future. To that end, we are very happy to have run a successful England and Wales User Group and look forward to moving these and the entire platform forward in 2020.

To conclude

With less than a week to go until the Election Day we are waiting with bated breath to see who reaches the top of the mountain but do so with tempered expectations. Nothing will change overnight for those who are in need of care and whoever reaches number 10 will need the support of everyone across health and social care.

We will continue to support those on the frontlines of care with our ECLIPSE Software and Services Platform. We will continue to work with practitioners to update and ensure that the software and services we offer fill a need. We will continue to bring practitioners together to share best practice with us and do so with the desire for positive change for those on the frontlines.

As we close down 2019 we look back fondly on the achievements of the past year but remain steadfast in continuing to innovate and grow. Resting on our laurels is something that does not enter the conscious mind of those who work in OLM. We remain committed to the health and social care sectors and do so with frontline workers in mind.