Support at Darlington Borough Council

16 January 2016

Darlington Borough Council and its stakeholders determined that a number of issues could be dealt with by the creation of a central access point for clients requiring a homeless service.

The council created a key point of access (KPA) to manage the first contact with clients. Advantage Impact (formerly Capita Support) was chosen as the software backbone to record information on clients centrally and to help all parties share and communicate data more effectively. With providers having access to the system, the level of paperwork and the delay in referrals being made has been reduced. Providers can see a client's assessment, cutting the time it takes to determine their suitability for the service.

Better use of services

With more appropriate referrals, people are staying longer in the service, meaning they receive improved support. More people are also taking options for private tenancies with support, due to floating services being more accessible.

Invaluable information

"The data we now have will inform future decisions on service provision, our strategic direction and how we can continue to improve outcomes for clients," says Nicola Childs, contracts and review officer at Darlington BC. "Capita Support has allowed us to move from a process-driven organisation to a needs-driven one."

 From a cost perspective, other areas have also improved. "We have managed to see a positive impact in the services we are delivering to clients, while working within the same budget as before," says Anthony Sandys, Supporting People and housing benefits manager at Darlington BC. "We now get many more 'units' of support for our budget and fund the KPA at no extra cost."

Key benefits at Darlington Borough Council


  • Increased uptake in private tenancies as more individuals are moving away from hostel accommodation
  • Reduced number of evictions by over 50%
  • Homeless accommodation now 100% occupied as individuals stay longer and access more services
  • Reduced number of repeat referrals
  • Faster turnaround of referrals, as providers share information and paperwork is reduced

A recent survey of Capita's customers revealed savings of £251 could be made per referral using Advantage Impact. Based on a case load of 1800 per annum this could lead to savings of £451,000 per year. If you would like to find out more about Advantage Impact and the savings you could achieve with it in place at your organisation,  please contact us .

Key benefits of Advantage Impact

  • Improves outcomes for clients with easier and quicker access to the most appropriate services
  • Standardises delivery of support services
  • Reduces time taken to assess and refer clients
  • Improves decision making due to straightforward and accurate reporting
  • Improves use of client data ensuring services meet their exact needs
  • Significantly reduces administration time regarding contracts and referral process, saving money and time
  • Improves access and transparency of records
  • Reduces length of time clients spend on waiting lists.

Read the fully case study


Further information