Dumfries and Galloway deliver new integrated online support services to their residents and business amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Dumfries and Galloway Council release new pandemic-based services to support their citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen several GOSS clients quickly create and deploy a variety of innovative solutions to support their communities during this difficult time. In particular, Dumfries and Galloway Council have been busy developing several key pandemic-based support solutions and services to support their residents and businesses, and ease pressure on its customer service teams.
Dumfries and Galloway Council were committed to provide a support mechanism for their community and the number of COVID-19 related requests which were beginning to come through. The solution needed to be quick and easy to deploy, whilst also providing the appropriate required level of support to residents. As a result the digital team at Dumfries and Galloway designed and developed a new COVID-19 support-based website using one of the GOSS family of themes. The site provides a dedicated portal where Dumfries and Galloway residents can go to access all COVID-19 related information. The site is also accessible via the home page of Dumfries and Galloway Council's main website and was rapidly set up and deployed and continues to be updated with new information relating to the ongoing pandemic.
Whilst the support website is an efficient way in which to inform residents of any updates and information relating to COVID-19, Dumfries and Galloway also required a way in which to manage businesses who needed to apply for support funds. As an extension to the support website, a business support fund application service was added, directly integrating with the Council's Civica back office application, which is usually used for processing grants. Applications are processed by the GOSS Digital Platform and automatically transferred into a dedicated secure location, containing business owners evidence details and application information.
With this service being delivered online, it not only provides customers with an easy to use and complete service from home, but also enables a higher volume of grants that can be processed directly from the back office, relieving pressure on front line teams. Since its release, this new business support fund application service has received 140 applications in under 24 hours.
Further to the recent deployment of their business support fund application service, Dumfries and Galloway Council also deemed it necessary to extend the fundamentals of this service into another service aimed enabling newly self-employed residents apply for Scottish Government Hardship funds. Using the new COVID-19 support website as its home, this new service for the newly self-employed is designed to help some of the newly self-employed people in the region who aren't eligible for other types of funding.
Using the GOSS Digital Platform, applications are initially emailed to the processing team, and any uploaded evidence files are stored securely within the related case(s). Using this method of case management is helping the Council prevent email servers blocking the delivery of large files, whilst also providing a secure storage area for the files to live. Furthermore, data retention schedules can then be set to remove these files as required once processed. Since its recent release, this new hardship fund application service for the newly self-employed has received 130 applications within 6 days.
"Using the GOSS Digital Platform, has given us the ability to deliver online services very quickly, enabling us to process more applications automatically without the need for manual intervention. The services we have provided have given us the ability to mobilise very quickly, yet also providing us with the ability to amend and refine the services as we receive feedback."
Mark Molloy - Lead Officer COVID-19 Communications
Dumfries and Galloway Council
Further to our recent blog posts on COVID-19 and how local authorities are dealing with it, Dumfries and Galloway are yet another example showcasing just how easy it is to making use of digital solutions to provide support to their communities during these difficult times.