Digital services to help provide safer workplaces


As with all Public Health Teams across the country, ours has been a busy one over the past year.  When we were asked if we could help them with a digital service for businesses to sign up to SMART testing we jumped at the chance to help.

The aim was to get as many businesses as possible signed up for lateral flow testing in the workplace; digitise workplace assessments and provide an easy mechanism for businesses to re-order test kits and record results.

Our low code system was the obvious answer to this, as many businesses already had accounts via applying for business grants throughout the pandemic.  We developed:

  • 4 new processes working closely with public health through regular S&Ts;
  • training videos;
  • an onsite digital solution for the workplace site assessment;
  • liaised with our communications team to launch the service;
  • created a dashboard through Power BI and;
  • utilised gov.notify to promote the service. 

 This really demonstrated how our digital team can bring together all the digital tools we have at our disposal and provide an end to end service that benefits both businesses, our organisation and the wider public.

It was great to get feedback on the work we did from Claire Ramwell, Head of Service for this area:

Thanks to all the team for your support over the last few weeks or so. How you translate the manual process and actions kept inside our heads into a logical digital process is amazing – well done!

The team are keen to work with the new processes and I know it will help improve their effectiveness, efficiency and importantly ability to on-board the growing interest there is in the borough for lateral flow workplace based testing.

We’ll work through any early issues together as we familiarise ourselves with the new system.

The journey wasn't without it's hiccups.  We had some businesses struggling to register or use the system, but we provided assistance to the SMART team to help businesses directly; provided online videos and held regular post go live meetings to resolve any issues that came up.  As with everything we do as a team, we treat this as valuable feedback and learning as we move forward with our next piece of work.

Our ability to deliver using the agile methodology really pays off when working on services like these, as you are able to deploy various elements as soon as they are ready e.g. register, and work on some of the 'harder stuff' in further sprints e.g. dashboards.

By Laura Crabtree on 13th May 2021
Laura Crabtree is a Service Design Manager at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.