Interview With Norfolk County Council: How Is Emerging Tech Like AI Helping To Improve Citizen Service?

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As financial pressures continue to build for local government, public services are feeling the impact. Demand is growing for more services and better efficiency across the board. Councils face a real and urgent need to square this circle. Today’s digital solutions can help by providing a unique opportunity to design services that are specifically targeted for those who need them most.

At the AI summit at Bletchley Park, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for a panel of global experts to publish a State of AI Science report. The proposal highlights a desire for this cutting-edge technology to be normalised, safely integrated and deployed for the benefit of the public. But how can technologies such as this strengthen connections across the public sector and deliver streamlined, user-centric services?

Using AI to deliver connected, person-centred services 

In our recent podcast, Sam Pittman-Smith (Director of Transformation, Norfolk County Council) spoke about how her team uses AI to connect with citizens and effectively deliver services.

Norfolk County Council is currently piloting a fall prevention programme. By studying existing service users, the council found that the current offering only helps members of the public who are already known to them.

Using AI data mining and analytics tools, the council was able to gain an understanding of who else might be at risk. It was then possible to directly target community members who could benefit from access to service provision. This preventative measure means that the service can be predisposed to user needs at an early stage, reducing risk and ultimately lowering the cost of later intervention. It also allows staff more time to listen to service users and to design specific help measures where needed.

The data gathered can be harnessed to power an intelligent telecommunications system and CRM. Staff members making initial calls to at-risk members of the public can easily see what a citizen’s needs may be and access suggestions as to the appropriate help to offer. In this way, the AI connects with the workforce, ensuring there is always a human element to tailoring the service. The ability to make this vital preventative call securely from any location also means staff members can take their time in designing the help needed.

Taking a more personal approach to transformation

We explore the possible uses of AI for the public sector and more in the latest episode of our public sector podcast series. We also uncover how the public sector can adopt a more person-centred approach to transformation, highlighting the importance of keeping the end user in mind when adopting new technologies.

Hosted by Mark Blanchard (Public Sector Director, GovNewsDirect) in conversation with Norfolk Council’s Sam Pittman-Smith, this informative session is packed with valuable insight from Sam, who highlights some of her team’s experiences with service design and implementation.

Subjects covered include:

  • How can we take a person-centred approach to transformation?
  • How does the Microsoft 365 suite influence collaboration?
  • How can we combat ‘Teams fatigue’?
  • How is emerging technology such as AI creating new and exciting ways to improve connection and service delivery?

In addressing these topics, the podcast explores the finer points of how public sector organisations can implement digital solutions whilst still ensuring the highest quality services are provided.

Visit our YouTube page here to listen to the podcast and learn more about modern communication solutions.



Originally published Dec 15, 2023

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