Firstly, we’d like to thank the Birmingham Parent Carer Forum for giving us the opportunity to share the 365 Smart Platform and Parent App with you.
We really enjoyed the session and feel we gained valuable feedback that we will take away and use to improve our system and communications. We would be more than happy to answer further questions or attend future presentations. Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like further information or to book a demonstration.
The presentation began with an overview of the Parent App, showing how it will be used to give full visibility of your young person’s journey, Driver, Guide and experience.
The platform was procured via the Gov.UK G Cloud Framework, giving complete assurance that the system is fully compliant with all required governance levels and the safe and secure management of data with controls in place to manage who can access the information stored within the system. The access rights for the platform are completely controlled by the Council, and all data is controlled by the Council in line with the GDPR requirements as a Data Controller.
Below, we’d like to share the questions that were asked during the presentation:
What are the timescales for the App to be rolled out and operational to parents?
This will be done by working with each school and transport provider one at a time. We have planned to have the first routes up and running by the end of October, working with Green Destinations as the Transport Provider. All routes will be rolled onto the platform one by one.
The timescales are very dependent on the speed of data, which in this case relates to the transport records for the children, records for Guides, the routes, and the transport provider information relating to both staff and vehicle records. This is being cleansed and the full records are being uploaded. We plan to be fully operational within 6 months, with all routes and all transport providers across all council areas.
Is the app only as good as the driver? So, if he doesn’t input anything, it doesn’t get recorded?
We have lots of control around ensuring that the drivers fulfil their obligations. Each App is monitored, so if the Driver fails to login, this will immediately be picked up by the Control Room of the Transport Company and the Council can oversee this in real-time ensuring the transport Driver will be contacted and requested to login. The 365 Smart Platform will flag this information.
There will be strict controls in place for the vehicle and vehicle safety check, which takes place at the beginning of the journey. The App will pinpoint the exact location of the completed checklist and will log the time taken to ensure it has been done to the correct standard. We recognise that this is a key measure in ensuring safety of the vehicle and therefore safety of the passengers and the App has been designed to support the Council to focus on this. The Council will be able to run all of the reports they need by transport provider to ensure that compliance is met across all routes.
The system, under the control of BCC, can pinpoint the location of the Driver at any time, offering Parents and Carers full visibility and assurance of the time of arrival or pick up of their child. We appreciate that the App will take time for Drivers to get used to, and we will provide full training and support.
Will we get a link to download the app before the route gets added?
Yes. Each approved family member or Carer is licensed to use the app at no cost. It is available for Android and IOS. We will be providing targeted training to ensure everyone feels comfortable using the system and are keen to work with the Parent and Guardian Forum to develop a bespoke training guide to maximise the support available.
Will the App tell us about last minute changes and lack of Guide or transport?
If the Driver or Guide is changed you will see this in the App, giving you the opportunity to talk about this with your young person before the journey. The Driver ID and full information about the vehicle will be available and displayed in the App, so that you are able to prepare. There will be a photo of the Driver and the Vehicle for full peace of mind.
My daughter was dropped off 45 minutes early and left unsupervised. The Driver did that and then logged that he had picked her up later and dropped her off. How would this be monitored?
The App will keep a full record of this so that BCC is able to see exactly where the vehicle was at all times. The Council will be able to access a full audit trail of every journey with pinpoint accuracy of routes and times. If you have concerns, these should be raised with the Council in the normal way. The audit record of each journey can be downloaded and used for a full investigation and disciplinary procedure as part of the Council’s contract compliance. This should give greater assurance around Parent and Carer concerns.
Will the Drivers and Guides be trained in using the App?
Yes. 365 Response will provide complete training for all required parties. Each transport provider will be fully supported, and training materials will also be provided. As part of the training programme, we will identify ‘Super Users’ who can then help to maintain the correct use of the App and complete refresher training.
Would a parent be able to use the App to record an incident?
The recording of incidents in the app is currently only available for the Driver and the approved Council officers, however this is valuable feedback and will be taken away and considered. There is a chat function for all parties within the App which allows the Parent/Carer to speak with the Driver / Council.
*Mary also previously raised a question around the requirements of capturing a reassessment of needs. We will be working closely with the Council and the Parent Carer Forum to develop this function in the future within the system. The platform will be constantly updated and developed to consider the changing needs within the transport environment, but we will be focusing on the core part of the platform being embedded first.
The functionality is not in place for incidents, so BCC and the App will not be on the same page?
The functionality is currently available for the management and tracking of all incidents, complaints and concerns, however at this time, the Parent/Carer cannot currently record incidents from within the App. The Driver, Transport Provider and Council currently will have access to the fully integrated Risk Management Module and all concerns and risks will be fully tracked, monitored and overseen.
The App ensures that the Driver captures any incidents as they happen (often during the journey or at pick up/drop off). This will be captured against the Transport Record, ensuring complete auditability and as much information captured as possible. The current way of reporting issues will be in place for parents and families and there have been significant improvements and investment into the call handling and call response teams, which has reduced time to answer and made it quicker and better for people to access these important phone lines.
There is a further configurable feature in the platform that will support BCC to set notifications for incidents which will highlight repeat incidents, based on set tolerance levels. For example, if a Driver has 2 incidents, a notification can be sent to the Council to address the issue immediately.
There is no easy way for Parents/Carers to report issues?
The existing way that incidents are reported will continue but this has been improved by BCC with additional resources, a new call answer system that improves and tracks performance and ensures the phone can be answered more quickly with a better experience for families when they want to make contact. The App will be available to capture information such as vehicle and Driver/Guide, journey timings, what route the child is on and a summary of important care needs they have.
If we can’t report incidents to start with, will we be able to contact TA easily?
The implementation of the platform is aimed at improving the management of the transport service and the Family and Carer experience, whilst at the same time, the Council are improving the telephone experience. Any issue, complaint or incident will be reported through the telephone system and can then be logged within the Risk Management Module and stored against the Transport Log to give greater levels of detail and auditability and to ensure that incidents can be managed quickly and effectively.
Will drop off times be adjusted to real times, taking into account traffic?
Yes. The App connects in real-time and will show any delays immediately. The actual time and expected time will be shown within the App. The Map View that is available to Parents and Carers in the App will also give an exact location of the vehicle in real-time traffic.
Are you able to share more details about what is included in the Care Record Plan?
An example of a record within the platform was shown for demonstration purposes. The full information for the young person is shown, and there are multiple controls that can be used for securely managing the data that is stored.
An example includes notes about the young persons’ needs, mobility requirements, relevant medical conditions or medication notes that relate to the safe transport assessment. The EHCP plan is recorded separately within BCC and it is the assessment of need that relates to a safe transport that is contained within the transport management platform. When additional notes are added to the record, a full audit trail shows who has entered the note and when it was entered. On the booking form there are three types of notes:
Confidential notes – these may contain sensitive information that the Driver or Guide will not have access to but that can be used by approved BCC staff to record additional details against a Transport Record for a young person
Journey notes – specific requirements for that particular journey. These are visible to the Driver/Guide
Permanent notes – these stay on the record and are there for every journey. These are available on the App for the Driver.
Other details on the Care Record include specific care plans, details of any requirement for a passenger to support a safe and comfortable journey, comfort steps that may support the young person if distressed and any support required. Supplementary notes can also be added. These are now securely stored in the system, as opposed to on paper and spreadsheets that are not as easily controlled or updated. The Driver will never have access to the full transport record, only the necessary information for the exact time of the route for that session and this will not be available to any Driver after each and every journey has ended.
[Showing the App]
The Driver can see the mobility requirements for the child and the Summary Care Plan.
Is the information on the Care Record populated via an online booking form or a telephone conversation via the Parents/Guardians?
As we are entering the year part way through, the information entered is what is currently available, so we need to ensure that this information is correct. Extra resources have been implemented at Council level to ensure this data is cleansed and accurate. Moving forward, the transport application and base line record can be accessed online or can be updated via the phone and/or whatever process is currently in place to support this.
Will the Parent/Carer/Driver be able to see the DBS and be able to access the HCP?
No. The DBS and training information for the Driver will be confidential. You will however, be able to see a report to demonstrate the levels of compliance and this will be set up for BCC to provide on a regular basis with real-time information and future view of compliance levels to ensure and maintain compliance in a proactive way. You will be able to see the approved summary of the Care Record, as it relates to the transport. Any elements of the plan that you feel should be shared as they relate to the transport of the young person, can be recorded. There are three fields for notes; these include confidential notes, notes to be shared with the Driver for a particular set of journeys but not always relevant for all journeys and notes that will always be pulled through to the App for the Driver or Guide to see.
Is it possible to incorporate the annual transport review?
We plan to work together with the forum and BCC to understand the annual review current process and how this links through to the transport record of need. We would like to identify the current process that will capture the transport information to ensure when a change happens, how this should be controlled and how best to show and manage the changes made and who changed them. We will look at ways to do this in the upcoming months as part of the project when the main platform has been embedded.
Logistics – in order to have the App, you need to have a phone. Will this be managed by the contractor?
The phone does not need to be high spec; it can be used on a basic Android phone. BCC will work to ensure Guides have mobile phones. BCC are doing work to ensure all Transport Providers are mandated to use the platform using appropriate contract controls to work and support transport providers to enable this to happen.
A huge ‘thank you’ from Sarah Fatchett and 365 Response.
We would like to stress that if there are areas that need to work differently or better as we go through the project, we are really keen to work together and to address these. We are here for the long haul and will be supporting BCC in their significant performance and improvement programme over the coming months and years.