A good digital offer is not a stand-alone solution made up of static web pages that simply list processes for people to follow or search through.
Today’s Local Authority websites and wider digital platforms accessible through smartphones need to be more dynamic and integrated in the core service offer, not just a reflection of it. They need to offer direct access to solutions that address customers’ needs. They should seek to promote a personalised and tailored set of solutions. Finally, they need to be easy to use regardless of the digital prowess of the user.
Digital remains a relatively cost-effective medium through which to communicate important messages and build on innovative new ideas. It seems a natural space for prevention and proactive community action that promotes wellbeing and can act as a virtual community space to be nurtured and developed by the residents who use it.
Local Authorities need to pick up the pace in this area beyond their initial channel shift projects. They need to work with other local partners, especially health, to create a community resource to improve residents’ health and wellbeing through self-management and to facilitate a sustainable local care market offer that can all come together under a new local community digital platform.