Through the project "Smarter Melhus", the local government in Melhus will make everyday life easier for its residents. Central to the project is health and care and how welfare can be organized in a better way. A strong initiator would be Idrettsveien Community Center (hereinafter: Idrettsveien), an offer for residents with problems related to drug addictions and mental health, where they believe in recovery and improvement for the residents through experiencing achievement and contributions to the community.
A digital platform for resource collaboration
Nyby is inspired by the tremendous power of the sharing economy and is a collaboration platform developed for and with local governments, municipalities and organizations who precisely want to solve important welfare tasks together with employees and residents. The solution was thus exactly what forward-leaning Melhus municipality needed. As Nyby recommends, Melhus municipality started small with a few groups, but with the potential for high frequency to post requests and solve these.
We started out in relatively small terms with Nyby, but we have constantly expanded with more services and businesses, because the app offers so many opportunities. (Project Manager for Welfare Technology, Heidi Pallin Aaring).
Melhus started with the home care service and the municipality's residents as groups of need, and Idrettsveien and the volunteer center as resource groups. Since its implementation, Melhus has explored more and more areas to use Nyby as a strategic tool, and after approximately nine months in operation, it now also includes the refugee service, the unemployment office, Melhus IL and Planning and Building Services.
With Nyby, the residents at Idrettsveien get direct access to relevant assignments - and can spend the time completing
the assignments instead of looking for them. Everything from accompanying to the doctor to snow shoveling and wood-carrying is solved by one or more residents going together with an employee from the Community. It is the employees who have the app and respond on behalf of the residents, so they can take into account how they feel that day and adapt accordingly - and it is either the employees in health and care services or the inhabitants themselves, who forward the needs so that the help gets where it is needed.
During the corona outbreak, Melhus also set up a collaboration between grocery stores, the volunteer center and residents, so that those who need help with grocery shopping gets it, and shops get help to deliver groceries from volunteers and residents in the municipality. They also use Nyby to recruit and organize available health personnel, to get an overview of all available resources should there be a need for extra staffing during the pandemic.n.
Key roles and organisation
Idrettsveien Housing Community has previously looked for volunteer assignments that they can do together with their residents. Because they with Nyby can get the assignments directly into the app instead of spending time looking for suitable assignments, they were the prime mover in the implementation process, and have also taken over the follow-up of the operation of the collaboration platform after the implementation phase was over. The volunteer center also uses the solution to gain access to relevant assignments, and to post assignments on behalf of residents who do not have the opportunity to do so themselves. Both mentioned resource groups are connected to the home care service, the health and welfare office, the unemployment office, Melhus IL, Planning and Building Services, and residents of Melhus. Supervisors in the unemployment office can both post requests and respond on behalf of their clients.
- Head of Municipal Affairs: The decision to use Nyby has been decided and anchored at the highest management level in the municipality.
- Implementation: Project manager for welfare technology in the municipality has been responsible for this process, in collaboration with the supplier
- Operation: The responsibility for the daily operation of the platform was handed over to the head of Idrettsveien when the implementation period was over
- Marketing / communication: The communications manager in Melhus municipality is responsible for all marketing and communication regarding the solution in the municipality - in collaboration with the communications manager at the supplier if necessary.
The supplier of the digital collaboration platform, Nyby, has been integrally involved in the work and supported the municipality in the implementation and use of the solution.
For the individual
- Those in need can get help with important welfare tasks, which in turn increases the quality of life.
- The person in need knows that the person helping is qualified and can thus feel safe.
- The person who wants to help does not commit to anything fixed and can take on the assignments he or she wants and when it suits.
- Using alternative resource groups is a win-win situation for both those who can contribute and those who receive help. Through Nyby, the residents of Idrettsveien receive meaningful assignments where they can contribute to the local community. This provides a sense of achievements and joy and is also an important piece in the rehabilitation and integration back into society.
- During the corona outbreak: The individual does not need to be exposed to infection by e.g. having to go out and grocery shop.
- During the corona outbreak: The psychological stress of quarantine can be reduced by letting the person know that help is available.
- For inclusion and to counteract loneliness among service recipients, it is valuable to get help and / or visits from regular people (not just employees in health and care).
- When simple tasks can be solved by available and qualified resources, more of their time can be spent on professional tasks - at the same time as the "conscience squeeze" becomes less significant.
- Significantly less administration to connect those who need help with available resource persons.
- Simplified registration and qualification of available resource persons.
- Less time looking for assignments, as these come straight into the app.
- More time for interaction with both those who need help and those who want to help.
For the business
- Time saver for healthcare professionals: Employees do not have to spend time on tasks that can be solved by others.
- Coordinators can release more resources and mobilize more, without increased administration costs.
- It is quick to get an overview of what needs exist, who has them and who can help - and it is easy to follow the dialogue from the time it is started until the assignment is taken.
- More welfare services: When a considerably larger proportion of the inhabitants who are otherwise free can contribute with simple tasks such as relieving health personnel, it increases the welfare offer.
- A society where everyone can contribute: A task in one place is an opportunity in another.
- Social inclusion: For the residents of Idrettsveien, and other unemployed and lonely people, it means a lot to be able to contribute and become an active part of the local community. The Nyby app is easy to use and requires little from the person responsible for the coordination, from the person in need and from the person who wants to help - who also makes it easy to get involved.
- Prevention: Increased preventive measures and daily practical help, enable residents to stay longer at home and reduce the pressure on professional services.
- More volunteers: Both in number and diversity, because it is easy to register and flexibility to help, which in turn contributes to increased utilization of resources in civil society.
- Increased quality of life for Melhus' residents.
It's all about thinking about society in a different way. Not as "us" and "them", but as "we". (Municipal manager for health and welfare in Melhus municipality, Trude Wikdahll).
Prerequisites and solutions
- For administrators in the municipality: PC / Mac / tablet with internet access
- For residents: Smartphone, Android or iPhone
- Supplier: Nyby
- For administrators: Access to cloud solution to create groups and follow up requests, as well as other administrative doings regarding the solution.
- For residents: The Nyby app, which is free.
- The solution is a digital platform that enables direct contact between those who need help and qualified resource persons.
In addition to the already mentioned needs at Idrettsveien and the value of the residents there becoming resources for the local communities, Melhus wanted closer cooperation between various units in the municipality, including health and volunteering.
When Melhus examined existing solutions to meet their requirements, only one supplier could offer a solution. Initially, tha plan was to start off with Idrettsveien, which needed easy access to suitable volunteer assignments. The solution was a digital collaboration platform - an app - where qualified resources with a need for access to meaningful assignments are connected directly with those who need help.
The municipality's responsibility is solely to offer and facilitate the use of the solution. All agreements between resource persons and those of need are at your own risk. Nyby strongly recommends that qualification of resource persons and guidelines between the parties be carried out and clarified before start-up
The solution was first piloted with a few units in the municipality, before Melhus quickly found out that it could be implemented on a large scale as the solution was clear and easy to administer. In addition, there were several employees who saw the benefit of such a tool that could meet the needs of the inhabitants.
The collaboration platform is used throughout Melhus municipality. To date, these groups have been established:
- The home care service forward needs for practical help, social activities, and accompanying services on behalf of its users. The assignments go to qualified volunteers at Idrettsveien and the volunteer center.
- The Norwegian Refugee Council publishes needs in social, practical help and accompanying services. In addition, it is set up so that some of the users can act as resources within the same services.
- Idrettsveien Community Center functions as a resource group for practical, social- and accompanying service assignments.
- The volunteer center functions as a resource group for practical, social- and accompanying service assignments. In addition, they post needs for residents who do not have the opportunity to do this themselves.
- Planning and Building Services publishes a need for practical help from Idrettsveien, volunteers, the refugee service, and the Unemployment Office.
- Grocery stores in the municipality receive orders from residents. This is a service that was set up especially in relation with the corona outbreak, so that people who were in quarantine / isolation could easily order goods home. In addition, the grocery stores can ask for help in delivering goods from residents and volunteers.
- The Unemployment Office: Supervisors at the Unemployment Office can both post requests and respond on behalf of their clients.
- Melhus IL: Posts volunteer assignments to Idrettsveien, the Norwegian Refugee Council and volunteers
- The Health and Welfare Office: Requests practical assignments on behalf of its users.
- Resource pool for health personnel: Overview of all available health professional resources in the municipality. Make it possible for health and care to easily get in touch with them when needed.
The users of the app themselves choose which group(s) they join, but several of the groups require some form of qualification to gain access.
In connection with the launch, the municipality sent out a press release about Nyby, and the solution was mentioned in the news by both local newspapers and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation radio. Social media and the municipality's web pages are extensively used to share information and highlight how easy it is both to get help and to help.
Melhus' communication department has been and is responsible for all communication but works closely with Nyby.
Management and development
Since the start-up in October 2019 to June 2020, just under 1100 inhabitants have downloaded the app and registered in one or more groups. The assignments that are most often repeated are practical help (shoveling snow, lawn mowing, carrying firewood, grocery shopping / picking up groceries, etc.) and accompany service (to the doctor, dentist, etc.). In the "accompany service" service, it is most often health personnel in the home service who identify user needs, and who, on behalf of those who need it, post requests for help. For "practical help", it is largely the residents themselves and the volunteer center who post requests on behalf of others such who e.g. do not have their own smartphone and need help.
The Nyby agent in the municipality continuously monitors the use of the app:
- How many people sign up.
- What needs exist?
- That the app is used for its purpose.
Opportunities and ambitions ahead:
- In the summer of 2020, the municipality opened a small farm to renovate it, grow herbs, vegetables, etc. The plan is to continue throughout the autumn with help from volunteers, and Nyby will be used to coordinate the help. With the app, the initiators also reach more people than they would otherwise do.
- The capacity among the volunteers is great, so the focus is on getting more people on the needs side, as well as increasing the frequency among those who are already working.
- The manager for the nursing homes will be connected to post requests.
- The Unemployment Office wants to use Nyby more and is working to implement it into the workday of the supervisors, and they want to look at how they can use it to streamline internal communication.
- Idrettsveien would like to have more assignments and connects with new departments and partners (eg Melhus IL and Planning and Building Services).
- Melhus Red Cross is interested in connecting to get a better flow in the collaboration with the municipality regarding, among other things, refugee guides and visiting friends.
- The challenge has been to get enough assignments.
- As Idrettsveien takes on many assignments, there have been too few left for the volunteers.
- Campaigns on social media and on the radio, as well as opening up for residents to post requests themselves, have led to several assignments.
- The fact that both health personnel on behalf of residents can post needs, and that residents who wish to do so can post assignments, has led to several connections. See how Nyby is adapted to health professionals here.
- Many new volunteers after the campaigns.
- It spreads because there is enthusiasm among those who will take on the assignments (Idrettsveien for example).
- Social requests are harder to get out - hard to admit that you are lonely.
- The accompany assignments are easiest for the home care service to get started with. They have several practical assignments as well, but it takes time making them routines and that it can be posted in Nyby.
- The experience- and status meetings are important for a good collaboration.
- Efforts from the municipality: Leaders for all groups in the collaboration have received training and participate regularly in status meetings. Nyby agent (the municipality's project manager for Nyby) has called in meetings and worked to connect the right departments and people. Nyby has been close during the implementation period and would recommend having a dedicated project manager from the municipality who works "hands on" with both his own group leaders and Nyby.
- Facilitation from the municipality: Close follow-up in the beginning, dedicated time for project managers and group leaders. Learning the tool is easy, but follow-up and change management to get employees to post assignments, resource persons in, qualified and operational is what requires the most.
- How Nyby has contributed: The contact person in Nyby has followed up closely and been available to connect new need groups and get them started. Nyby has facilitated experience meetings and collected statistics and learning points. In Melhus, however, much of the collaboration has made itself because there has been strong enthusiasm and will among the selected units.
- Project Manager for Welfare Technology, Heidi Pallin Aaring (tlf: +47 47645982, e-mail: Heidi.Pallin.Aaring@melhus.kommune.no)
- Gain Owner: Municipal Manager for Health and Welfare Services in Melhus municipality, Trude Wikdahl