Managed Service Success Story

Social Finance delivers a cloud-based reporting tool for IPS Grow with BJSS

Social Finance is a not for profit organisation that partners with the government, the social sector and financial community to find better ways of tackling social problems in the UK and beyond. Since it was founded, Social Finance has pioneered a series of programmes that have improved the outcomes for individuals with complex needs.

In collaboration with BJSS, Social Finance delivered a cloud-based reporting tool to support Individual Placement and Support Grow (IPS Grow) – an initiative designed to expand IPS services across the UK so that more people with serious mental health difficulties can find work. The tool is now fully supported and enhanced by the BJSS Managed Service team, keeping the wider IPS service stable and up to date.

“BJSS’ flexible approach helped us and our stakeholders, many of whom were new to technology-based solutions, to articulate and realise their goals. Faced with very short timeframes, BJSS mobilized to design and build an MVP and supported us to scale it nationally. The IPS Grow tool has helped health and employment services across the country to better manage their data, improve quality and demonstrate impact.”

Osutaro Kili
Associate, Social Finance

Challenge

Today, only 7% of people with severe mental health problems have a job. Yet paid employment can have a positive impact and help those with mental health difficulties to recover.

With this in mind, NHS England committed to a major expansion of IPS – an evidence-based approach that helps those with mental health problems find work. The expansion would see services mobilised quickly, the delivery of high-quality IPS and a greater number of mental health sufferers finding work.

NHS England commissioned Social Finance to deliver IPS Grow – an initiative designed to develop the national infrastructure to support the IPS expansion.

A key element of IPS Grow was to develop a web-based reporting tool for existing and new IPS services. The tool would need to support IPS specialists across the UK in capturing their impact and the performance of their services.

To accelerate the delivery and ensure a high-quality solution, Social Finance approached BJSS to develop the tool and support it with a managed service.

Solution

Keen to support this great initiative, we commenced the development of the tool with a discovery phase. This saw the combined BJSS and Social Finance team set out the delivery approach for a minimum viable product (MVP). The delivery approach was informed by the development of a proof of concept which was tested amongst users who provided feedback. A backlog of features were then prioritised, and we started to deliver the MVP.

The MVP was delivered iteratively over several Sprints to de-risk the delivery. The result was a fully functioning, cloud-native application that satisfied user needs and requirements. Hosted on AWS, the IPS Grow online reporting tool helps IPS specialists to manage their data and report to different stakeholders. The specialists can now upload spreadsheets to the tool, where the data is analysed to show the performance of their team and generate reports. This insight is crucial in showcasing how well each specialist is performing in terms of securing employment for mental health sufferers. Importantly, it can be used to inform stakeholders such as local authorities, who may be able to provide extra support and funding.

With the reporting tool securely hosted on AWS cloud, our development team was able to hand over the solution to the BJSS Managed Service team with ease. The reporting tool is now fully supported by our Managed Service team, which provides Social Finance with:

  • Application performance management – Using AWS services, we manage and measure the reporting tool’s performance levels and status to provide accurate observations of the solution’s health and capacity
  • Service desk – A single point of contact for Social Finance to register service requests and incidents via multiple channels
  • Incident resolution – We ensure minimum downtime and maximum stability of the reporting tool by resolving incidents at pace
  • Well architected reviews – Regular assessments of the cloud platform to ensure it is secure, efficient and cost-effective
  • Usability and functionality improvements – The tool has been built with continuous improvement in mind, with the managed service team providing regular usability and functional enhancements to the reporting tool
  • Cloud cost optimisation – We manage Social Finance’s cloud license to ensure it is running the platform in the most cost-effective way.

Benefits

A scalable reporting tool

The reporting tool has been built with scalability in mind. By developing the tool as a cloud-native application, it is highly available and scalable so it can cope with fluctuations in demand. As the use of the reporting tool increases in line with the IPS Grow programme, our Managed Service team can rapidly scale the solution to meet demand. This level of agility and flexibility will be invaluable to Social Finance as it looks to expand the programme.

Stability

Since the reporting tool has been live, it has incurred minimum downtime and high levels of availability. When issues have arisen, they are quickly resolved by our Managed Service team and its service desk and incident resolution capabilities. The tool is continuously improved and monitored by the Managed Service team, so Social Finance can be confident that the solution is in good health. This stability has been well received by Social Finance, the IPS specialists and stakeholders.

Increased efficiency

Our Managed Service has removed the burden of managing the reporting tool for Social Finance. From application performance management through to optimising the costs of Social Finance’s cloud platform and resolving incidents. Social Finance trusts the BJSS Managed Service team to keep the reporting tool running. At the same time, it can focus its attention on supporting and growing the wider IPS programme. Fundamentally, this engagement has helped to expand the IPS programme and secure more jobs for those with serious mental issues.

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