East Sussex 1Space - East Sussex County Council

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Project description

East Sussex 1Space was developed by East Sussex County Council. It is part of a coordinated range of services designed to enable people to exercise choice and control over their lives, by ensuring that they have the right information to help them plan the care and support they need. The council hopes that strengthening the core offer of information and advice will help people make the best use of resources - both public resources and people's own money.

It is a universally accessible website that provides a directory of care, support and wellbeing services available in East Sussex. 1Space has been live since November 2012, and developmental work is still ongoing to register providers and market the site locally.

The purpose of 1Space is to make it easier for people to find the local services they are looking for, and to help them discover other services and opportunities they may not have thought of or known about. The site will provide information about the fullest possible range of support options, including self-help groups, community-level initiatives, voluntary sector provision, personal assistants and micro services, as well as information about quality, and how to find good financial advice.

Who is the service for?

The website is a tool for all adults in East Sussex who are looking for care and support, irrespective of whether they are funded by the council or fund their own care. It is also designed to be used by social care staff and all organisations in the county that signpost people towards services.

Intended outcomes

The aim of the website is to improve awareness of, and access to, services in the county. It also aims to provide a free platform for providers to market their services.

Why is the service being developed?

The 1Space directory was conceived in response both to the national social care personalisation agenda and to local needs, as a way of making it easier for people to find information.

Were the people who use services and carers and other key stakeholders involved in setting up this service?

People who user services were involved with the project from the outset, along with other stakeholders including council staff and service providers, through the Development Group. Stakeholders have been involved in every aspect of the design and delivery of the website.

People who use services have also contributed to the council's Personalisation Advisory Group, which was set up to enable people who use services and carers to influence the full range of service developments in relation to self-directed support and personalisation in East Sussex.

Has the service met the intended outcomes?

While it is still early days for the 1Space website, positive feedback has already been received from people who use the site and from service providers. Providers have welcomed the opportunity to market their services directly to people who use them, supported by the council.

People who have used the site have responded positively to it, but they are disappointed if they cannot find a service to meet their search. The feedback form on the site has generated mixed feedback, largely based on whether or not the user found the service they were looking for. Work is ongoing to get as many diverse and traditional providers as possible registered with the site.

Marketing is also underway to raise wider awareness of the site and increase the number of visitors to it, and the number of providers who register.

Do you have information on costs or savings?

No information is yet available on costs or savings associated with 1Space. The intention is to work across all service areas - including children's services and public health, as well as adult services - which will generate savings and reduce duplication.

What were the learning points in setting up this service?

  • Recognition that members of the public do not understand artificial boundaries: having a directory that covers care, support and wellbeing - regardless of age or situation - makes it easier for people to find what they need
  • Keep the language on the website as straightforward and easy to understand as possible
  • Work closely with service providers to find the best way for them to market their service via the directory
  • Consult with stakeholders on all elements of the project, and provide regular feedback on progress and why particular decisions have been made.

Contact details

Bianca Byrne
Service Development Manager, East Sussex County Council
Email: bianca.byrne@eastsussex.gov.uk
Telephone: 01273 336656