Joined-up health and social care


People in Bath and North East Somerset are first to benefit from joined-up health and social care enabled by innovative technology from Bath-based software provider

The new Compassionate Community Hub set up to provide support for people in Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES) during the Covid-19 pandemic has been working with local software provider RIVIAM Digital Care to transform the way Virgin Care, BaNES Council and local third sector organisations such as Age UK BaNES, Citizens Advice BaNES and Bath Mind can co-ordinate a joint response.

Vulnerable residents in BaNES are the first to benefit from RIVIAM’s Wellbeing service which will soon be further enhanced following the company’s successful application for £48,450 funding from Innovate UK.

People who are self-isolating, shielding or just in need of help can contact the hub, which is managed by Virgin Care, BaNES 3SG – representing local third sector organisations – and BaNES Council. Professionals from different organisations are able to collaborate and co-ordinate the most appropriate support for people online quickly using RIVIAM. This new streamlined digital process replaces emails, spreadsheets and phone calls. Since April 2020, approximately 1500 cases and just under 6500 calls for food parcels, medicines, advice and wellbeing have been managed by the hub on RIVIAM.

In June, RIVIAM was awarded funding by Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency, to extend its current Wellbeing platform to allow health, social care and third sector organisations using RIVIAM to set and share tasks and instant message each other about cases – all securely with strict security measures. Each organisation will continue to use its own IT system but RIVIAM acts as a secure ‘digital bridge’ to share information and collaborate with others.

Paul Targett, Managing Director, RIVIAM Digital Care, says:

“People only want to tell their story once and to receive a timely, personalised response from different agencies working together. Enabling health, social care and third sector organisations to co-ordinate care delivery with each other is more important than ever.”

“With RIVIAM Wellbeing, organisations in different sectors can collaborate as one team harnessing their collective power to deliver for people in need. The funding from Innovate UK allows us to enhance the technology we’re already providing in BaNES and develop a new way for health and care teams to communicate, improving services and making taxpayers money go further.”

Claire Thorogood, Head of Contracting & Performance, BaNES Council, says:

“Providing a system whereby partners can share information securely and work more collaboratively has been and will continue to be crucial to the success of the Hub. This has transformed how we have worked in partnership.”

“RIVIAM has contributed to the success of the Hub because all partners can track the support we offer to individuals to best meet their needs. It also enables staff across all organisations to work more flexibly whether that is from the Hub or at home. We welcome this additional funding that has been secured.”

Michael Plows, Manager of Community Volunteering Services Bath and North East Somerset, Virgin Care, says:

“The Compassionate Community Hub is an excellent example of a strong working partnership, created through the Council, Virgin Care, 3SG and other third sector partners across different organisational boundaries all coming together and making a real difference to the local population.”

“RIVIAM has been instrumental in the success of our collaborative approach allowing us to streamline the digital processes in a shared and secure way. Paul and his team at RIVIAM have pulled out all the stops to get the platform up and running in such a short space of time and we are all looking forward to the additional capabilities provided by RIVIAM via the Innovate UK grant.”

Les Redwood, CEO Citizens Advice BaNES, one of the organisations using RIVIAM says:

“At Citizens Advice BaNES, we have been working with other charities and third sector organisations over the last year to bring together a partnership with BaNES Council, Virgin Care and the Clinical Commissioning Group to provide a more effective and efficient service to residents, patients and clients all across BaNES. The dreadful challenges of Covid-19 galvanised these partnership discussions into greater action and the Compassionate Community Hub was born. Ten organisations were quickly and effectively working together to provide an emergency response to Covid-19.”

“The ‘glue’ that pulled all this together was the revolutionary technology platform that was created and delivered to support this crucial work – RIVIAM’s Wellbeing service. This, without doubt has enabled the initiative to become a huge, unique, nationwide success story, and to deliver a far more effective and efficient solution for the Local Authority, lead healthcare provider and local third sector partners.”

James Carlin, Director, 3SG, says:

“RIVIAM has been key to the success of the Compassionate Community Hub. For the first time, we have been able to work collaboratively on one platform without the need for phone calls or emails. This makes for more accurate partnership working and a better service for residents in all parts of Bath and North East Somerset.”

Kate Morton, CEO, Bath Mind, one of the organisations using RIVIAM, says:

“The establishment of the Compassionate Community Hub in response to the pandemic has been an amazing achievement. Ensuring a collaborative, multi-agency approach to community service provision has been vital to meeting the needs of the BaNES community, and RIVIAM has been instrumental in this. It has allowed all organisations to work in a more efficient and coordinated way and so provide a flexible, timely response to our communities.”

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