Hanover Scotland - Case Study

Hanover Scotland - Case Study

Using service design approaches in Hanover Scotland, a housing project to support older people

Hanover Scotland is a Housing Association providing a range of housing and services, mainly for older people. We also have one of the largest Alarm Receiving Centres in Scotland, providing telecare call monitoring services to over 19,000 customers across the country. Typical of traditional telecare services, this service is principally reactive in nature.

Hanover is interested in developing a service which would make proactive outbound calls to customers to better support them. A move toward more proactive, preventative approaches to care is part of a national agenda and a proactive calling service could be a welcome complementary service offering to both Hanover’s residents and our wider telecare customers.
In early 2022, we were granted funding from the Scottish Government’s TEC Programme to help us discover what a proactive calling service could look like at Hanover.

Photo: Pexel

Photo: Pexel

What was done?

The granted funds from the TEC Programme enabled us to appoint a Project Lead, Elaine Rosie, on a six-month contract to help undertake the work required. The Project Lead was supported by Amy Dougan, Business Development Manager, who oversaw the project.

The project set out to achieve the following key deliverables:

  • An understanding of the needs of current and future stakeholders in respect of a proactive telecare offer
  • Potential model(s) for a future service
  • A written feasibility report, presenting research from other proactive calling services, and
  • Sharing learning with the wider network in line with the principles of the Scottish Approach to Service Design

With fantastic support from Service Designers appointed by the TEC Programme, we followed the principles of the Scottish Approach to Service Design to ‘discover’ and ‘define’ what such a service could look like at Hanover, with input from employees, customers, potential commissioners and incorporating learning from proactive calling services already being delivered in the UK and further afield.

What was the output and the outcome?

A written feasibility report has been produced, which sets out our learning and presents the rationale for pursuing different service delivery models. It is clear from the research that a proactive calling service could deliver significant benefits to our customers, our employees and to Hanover as a business.

The report and its proposals have been well-received internally, and we are keen to progress to the next steps of developing and delivering a live service. In the coming few months, we are hoping to launch a couple of proactive calling Tests of Change. These Tests of Change will help to clarify the needs of customers, explore different models of delivery, and help us to understand the costs, benefits, and risks of each of the services before rolling out on a larger scale.

Key learning points

We were proud that we were able to stick to our original timescales and were delighted about how open other organisations were about sharing their learning and experiences with us; this was invaluable.

Some interesting insights we found were: that loneliness and isolation were key drivers behind the need for a proactive calling service; that we can expect proactive calls to significantly reduce reactive telecare calls; and that some of the customers that could benefit the most from a proactive calling service are those that are not yet known by Social Work or that don’t yet have a care plan in place – those that go ‘under the radar’ and are only perhaps made known once a crisis point is reached.

We learned to question our initial assumptions and, instead, use the learning and evidence gathered from speaking to stakeholders and experienced organisations to shape our understanding.

A particular challenge for us was trying to condense and make sense of all the information and research we gathered in order to find a clear way forward. The amount of data and information was at times overwhelming, and it took time and encouragement from our Service Design support to distil the key themes and find clarity in our direction.
We will adopt the Scottish Approach to Service Design in other areas of our work as we found this collaborative, co-design approach to be an excellent way of getting to the crux of the problem before rushing to implement a solution.


Hints and Tips

Our best hints and tips for others designing a new service are:

  • Be realistic with timescales.
  • Speak to others with experience in delivering a similar service; in our experience they will be more than happy to help!
  • Be open to challenging your – and others’ - assumptions and biases.
  • Understand that it’s OK to go back, revise and tweak your approach – progress is more important than perfection!
Last Updated: 23 February 2024