As law-abiding taxpayers, the UK’s population likes to know that the money taken out of its hard-earned salary every month goes towards improving public services and therefore the quality of life for those who use them.
But there are a myriad of challenges facing the local authorities that provide these public services. Funding is a major issue – many bodies are working within tight budgets and therefore may not be able to deliver a service to a standard they or the public are always happy with.
While it’s true that advances in modern technology can help to smoothen processes and alleviate some of these concerns, having the right digital systems in place is critical for any local authorities seeking to overcome these stumbling blocks. So, what are the challenges and how can digitisation help across the board?
It is estimated that in 50 years, there will be an additional 8.2 million people aged 65 and over living in the UK as the country’s population continues to age. That is partly down to improvements in medical science and care practices, but an increase in numbers means a greater strain on the social care sector. With that in mind, implementing an integrated workflow system can help the local authorities manage more streamlined and efficient practices, creating links with healthcare databases to provide carers with a full, clear picture of the people they are looking after and what their particular circumstances might be.
With more than 10 million pupils attending over 32,000 schools around the UK, education is a major remit of the local authorities, who are effectively charged with shaping our children’s futures and helping them to grow up to be the best people they can be. But such a great responsibility brings with it many challenges and school admissions systems are just one example. Effective digitisation of this process can simplify all manner of associated procedures, such as retrieving catchment area data, applications from parents, viewing schools’ capacities as well as allowing schools to analyse any applications made. Storing all of this information in an easily accessible place online can allow both the authorities and the families to monitor the status of their admissions with a minimum of fuss.
The rise of eHealth has helped local authorities overcome certain challenges in this sector in recent times – aiding the storage of patient records, communication with patients, remote monitoring and many more. Continued advancements can only further boost this area of public services, and integrated software solutions can help to build bridges between GP, secondary care and social care organisations. Being able to connect all of these services will help the local authorities save time and therefore money, creating extra budget space for them to invest in improving their offering across the board.