Midland Mencap is a charity that works and campaigns for accessible and inclusive services for everyone with experience of learning disabilities and additional needs.

The organisation, which works across the midlands, is made up of three core offers that provide support to individuals, families, and carers. This includes Safe, Secure & Quality Housing, The Right Care, Support, Advice & Information and Meaningful Things to Do.

Midland Mencap does this through a wide range of services including housing support, domiciliary home care, children’s services, carers service, emergency response and community events -providing over 7,000 hours of support each week to family and carers.

The challenge

With so many different services, the organisation knew that an off-the-shelf software solution would not be suitable for their complex processes. So, it was important for them to find a company that would work with them to develop the right solutions to fit their needs. 

Chris Haines, Director of Operations at Midland Mencap, said: “Finding a new software provider was always going to be a challenge. We are not typical care providers, and we do things differently. While we deliver domiciliary care, we are also responsible for things like housing support, emergency response care, group activities and respite – lots of holistic services with unique reporting requirements and outcomes. 

“And up until this point, we didn’t think there was a viable product on the market that would accommodate all of the things we needed to achieve. 

“It was crucial for us to find the right company to work with. Finding a partner that cared about the work we do and would help us create solutions to the complex problems we face – was at the top of our list.

“When we first met David Lynes, the Managing Director of Unique IQ, we knew that we would not just be ‘another customer’. David came across as totally transparent and honest– I was immediately aware of how passionately he cared about our sector and the work we do with our citizens. And we were equally impressed with the versatility of Unique IQ’s software and the team’s willingness to work with us to develop bespoke solutions.”

The implementation

Chris continued: “Rolling out a new system is a complex affair, especially in an organisation like ours – from migrating years of stored data to the training of more than 400 staff, it was a huge challenge. But with the support of our dedicated Project Manager Nigel, my worries were put at ease.

“Unique IQ understands our business inside out – to the complex way we need to schedule care to the unique types of services we offer. We owe so much to Unique IQ and couldn’t have made it this far without their support.

“Our needs are always quickly understood, and solutions have been developed holistically to whatever challenges we face.

“This was particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when the Unique IQ team helped us to develop and implement a new traffic light system within the software to help us prioritise care delivery to our most in-need citizens. This had a huge impact on service delivery during the most testing of times and meant that our most at-risk citizens did not experience disruption in the delivery of care.”

The results

David Bird, Operations Manager for Housing Care & Support at Midland Mencap said: “While the care we provide is driven by people, the software we use has a huge impact on the work we do, which is why it’s so important we get it right. 

“And thanks to Unique IQ’s excellent training programme, our frontline personal assistants have transitioned well to the new platform. The mobile app has been fantastic to help us record and track visit attendance (check-in/check-out) and uptake of the voice-to-text feature has helped reduce instances of unclear hand-writing when personal assistants make notes.

“From an operations point of view, we’re no longer waiting for daily logs to be collected by hand. This means that issues can be flagged immediately, which gives us the chance to react and provide the right support at the right time.”  

The future

With teams now using core features like scheduling, group activities and call monitoring universally, the next step for the organisation is to introduce advanced processes like eMAR and Digital Forms to further digitise operations. 

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