At Staffordshire County Council, our aim is to make sure that people who use our services are at the centre of what we do. One initiative that has used technology to help us do this and make services more accessible is a game called Me, Myself and I.
First developed as a board game that could be used to ask people with learning difficulties or vulnerable adults in supported housing what they need to live independently, it soon became clear that an electronic version could be even more useful.
So linking with Coventry University, and after extensive testing with service users, we developed an interactive web and app version of the game.
Me, myself and I is used by care and support staff to engage with a broad range of people with very different needs and experiences. Its aim is that it is easy to use for people, from young to old, no matter what challenges they face so they can express their needs and preferences easily in an enjoyable and cost effective way.
By using the interactive game as an aid, people are signposted to information on the county council’s Staffordshire Cares website (@Staffscares)based on their needs and preferences. This can range from healthy living advice to staying safe at home and in turn helps individuals navigate their way through the care system.
The app is highly intuitive so has helped to really improve the experience for users. It is fully personalised and is more fun than traditional approaches that we used before, which is really important. It also puts people in ‘control’ of the support planning process rather than feeling done onto.
Using technology in this way has allowed us to be really creative in how we involve service users and citizens in care planning and to really promote ‘personalisation’. It puts individuals at the heart of making lifestyle decisions no matter what their circumstances and it has had really good feedback that it’s making a difference. In a survey with users, 91% said the game had helped to explain what is important to them. Me, myself and I has also been used by care workers as a way to consult with communities and as an improvement tool to help set organisation priorities.
We’ve recently been piloting how the app can be used with young people who are in care to look at how they are supported which has had some massive positives. For example we found the app allowed conversions that wouldn’t necessarily have happened and it helped to engage with more young people who traditionally haven’t responded to other approaches.
Based on this, we are now working to develop a young people’s version of the app so the content reflects the issues of relevance to them. So far Me, Myself and I has really paid off in Staffordshire so we are hoping that it will be used by other local authorities to support the Pathway planning process nationally.
Comments from people who have used the App
I love the app, its different, it’s not boring
I like the app because it’s personal, it’s about you
I like how it shows you links to useful information if you need it
Staffordshire County Council