Scottish Welfare Fund in Glasgow


03 September 2015

How Glasgow City Council met the Scottish Welfare Fund deadline

 

"Capita delivered where other suppliers did not. I am very happy with the choice we made."
 Des Cunningham, senior project manager, Glasgow City Council

On 1 April 2013 crisis and community care grants moved to local authority control. A tight timetable meant that Scottish local authorities had to react quickly to ensure they had the systems in place to take over this important task.

The prospect of assuming responsibility for the Scottish Welfare Fund was particularly daunting for Glasgow City Council (GCC), as it awards the largest number of benefits across the UK both in number and value.

A challenge

Des Cunningham, senior project manager, GCC, explains: "In over 30 years, I have never seen a project with such an imminent date for implementation and no precedent in the market. There was no ready-made solution. We had to build the management and software processes completely from scratch. And we had to get it right; we could not risk any delays for those families that rely on these loans for food or getting back on their feet.

We decided that integrating the new service with our revenues and benefits software system would be useful as to be eligible for crisis loans and grants, applicants must be on benefits within the Glasgow area. If we could check this was the case automatically, it would help us save time and prevent fraud."

The solution

As GCC was already a Capita customer using their revenues and benefits, and income collection software solutions, it decided to assess how compliant Capita's Local Welfare Assistance solution was for its Scottish Welfare Fund requirements.

"We found that Capita's solution delivered everything we required; from in-built workflow to a high degree of automation. Most of all it was very flexible, which was essential as we realised we would have to focus on only the most important deliverables in order to meet the deadline." says Des.

Automation

The Capita solution is cloud based, so it means the public can access it online to make a claim; the staff and management can then access the same system from wherever they may be working. Security is tight and users can only view the information appropriate to them.

A simple traffic light system also ensures staff know which claims to prioritise. The system went live at the beginning of April 2013, providing the full service from application to award

Fast decisions and quick payments

Frances Ross, service delivery manager, customer and business services at GCC, comments: "The Capita system is helping us get support quickly to those who are in crisis or are trying to get back on their feet. By feeding all the relevant information into one system, applications can be worked on within the same day."

 GCC now processes around 300 to 400 calls a day, turning around crisis grant applications in two days, and community care requests within 15 working days.

"The feedback we are getting from customers is that we are giving a better service than they received before. We pay out a lot quicker and offer more methods of payments, giving customers more options than previously," adds Frances.

Key benefits and functions of Capita's Local Welfare Assistance solution:

  • Eliminates hardware — a Cloud-hosted solution
  • High levels of automation — links to benefits system for eligibility checks and tailors questions based on respondents previous answers
  • Offers suggestions for alternative sources of help when claimant is refused
  • Simplifies prioritisation of claims with straightforward traffic light view of claims
  • Case information held in one place, so any member of staff can pick up a claim and work on it
  • Highly secure and provides full management information
  • Faster and easier integration with partner agencies for BACS and Post Office transfers.

 

Download the case study to read the Glasgow City Council story in full

Further information