Mobile working for Public Sector: Transforming communities with flexible working options

Mobile working in the Public Sector is not just about making staff more productive on the go. It’s about improving the public experience and encouraging people to do more for themselves.

The need to make deep spending cuts while improving services means Public Sector organisations must find new ways of doing things. We work with all types of Public Sector organisations: health, police, the MOD, and over 400 local authorities.

We’re transforming NHS flexible working to improve the way it delivers patient care, delivering clinical information systems that connect 230,000 healthcare professionals. We’re the largest provider of telehealth solutions in the UK, allowing patients with long-term conditions to monitor their health from home. And we provide secure Wi-Fi networks for the MoD, the police, and other blue-light services.

Mobile apps make it easier to focus resources

When frontline Public Sector employees have to return to an office to prepare for their next jobs or share updates with other departments, they lose time that they could better spend serving the public.

It’s why the Government is promoting smart working across the sector as part of the Transforming the Way We Work (TW3) programme. Mobile and collaborative working is a strong focus, giving busy frontline employees everything they need to do a good job, wherever they need it.

Mobile apps can be hugely beneficial for Public Sector organisations, allowing them to share, and access, information in real time.

One of the ways the Public Sector is trying to improve the nation’s health while keeping costs down is by encouraging different service providers to work together, pooling their limited resources, and using their combined knowledge to achieve better outcomes for patients.

NHS Education for Scotland collaborated with pharmacists, clinicians, and researchers to produce a mobile health app that medical staff can use to treat people with multiple medical conditions more effectively. The care of patients with multiple medical conditions is one of the greatest challenges faced by healthcare providers and a priority for NHS Scotland.

The app guides clinicians through a 7-step medicines review process, tailored to the individual patient. It assesses factors such as the risk of falls in older people who are taking multiple medicines, and the cumulative risk of drug toxicity and adverse reactions as more treatments are added.

There are growing numbers of apps that prompt patients to monitor and take greater responsibility for their own health, capturing health data with the option to feed readings back to GPs so they can act promptly if these become a cause for concern. Preventative healthcare could save the NHS millions by averting serious health problems, which are more expensive to treat.

Embracing mobile capabilities can also encourage the public to feel more in control of their own communities.

Wiltshire Council encourages residents to use a special ‘MyWiltshire’ mobile app to report community issues like graffiti, fly tipping, potholes, and faulty street lighting. People can report problems quickly and easily, giving the council immediate, accurate information they can act on. Having local residents as its eyes and ears also means the council can target resources and provide a better public service, preventing issues from escalating and becoming more resource-intensive.

Providing good service is better for staff too

In the private sector, half of UK office workers can now be as productive mobile working as they can from the office, and they rate having flexible work options as more important than having a company car, according to recent BT research. In the Public Sector, where resources are under great strain, the needs are even greater, making effective mobile working an even greater priority.

Northern Health & Social Care Trust estimates that since combining Wi-Fi units with EE’s 4GEE network, its facilities management team is completing jobs up to 20% faster - because people now have reliable and fast access to real-time information.

The department maintains safe and efficient working environments at 150 sites including A&E, wards, and care centres. In-house and contract staff get their jobs via ruggedized tablets. Once complete, they’re closed and the system automatically updates. The combined high-speed Wi-Fi/4G solution was easy to set up too, thanks to the Public Services Network framework, as BT’s EE is a registered supplier.

Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust uses BT mobile working solutions to enable NHS flexible working in order to access the data they need and fill in reports on the go, so that they too can spend more time with patients and less time doing follow-up admin. As a result it doesn’t take as long for patients to get appointments with district nurses. This in turn has a positive impact on local acute hospitals – if the Trust can treat more people in the community, fewer people turn up at A&E which means urgent cases can be dealt with more promptly.

Turning problems into solutions

With cuts to funding and uncertaintly over Brexit and COVID-19 affecting staff numbers, Public Sector organisations must invest smartly to make their resources go further.

It’s why we continue to invest in new, creative collaboration and mobile working tools; solutions and services that make it easier for the Public Sector to work in new ways, providing high levels of service and care despite the significant constraints they face.

To find out more about BT’s latest customer service innovations, contact your account manager or call us on 0800 707 6320.

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