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Shared Calendar Pathfinder. February-August 2012. Pathfinder Objective. To trial the use of a shared electronic appointment system to improve access to advice services. New pilot project aiming to work towards a more integrated delivery of advice. Partners. Project Lead: B&H CAB

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Shared calendar pathfinder

Shared Calendar Pathfinder

February-August 2012

Pathfinder objective
Pathfinder Objective

  • To trial the use of a shared electronic appointment system to improve access to advice services.

  • New pilot project aiming to work towards a more integrated delivery of advice


Project Lead: B&H CAB

Partners: Amaze, BHT, FED, MACS, B& H MIND

Set up stage
Set-up stage

  • Best approach was to identify a few appointments or a single project for which referrals could be made;

  • Start small with one single user/agency;

  • Many agencies decided to use Nellbookeronly for project/appointment made available;

  • Nellbooker, an opportunity for agencies to advertise projects with low take-up.

  • Due to time pressures and technical matters, it was easier for the project lead to act as Nellbooker coordinator.

  • One implementation office/contact person identified per agency.


  • Launch date: 24th April

  • 117 appointments were booked

  • 24 cross agency housing referrals

  • 7 mental health appointments

  • 3 cross agency welfare benefits

  • 83 debt appointments

The nellbooker experience
The Nellbooker experience

  • Online referral system. Can be accessed by additional users.

  • Ease of use for individual users

  • Difficulties in managing(setting-up) calendar. More training needs to be negotiated with central Nellbooker administrator

  • Cost-effective compared to other appointment systems (£1000 pa for 2-4 agencies and £2000 pa for 5-10)

  • Overall good experience reported by users/agencies.

Feedback by users agencies
Feedback by users/agencies

  • Did you find the calendar easy to use?

  • 3 Yes

  • 1 Somewhat

  • 2 still to reply

    Other comments: “Good to check in advance whether client had received before advice from the agency”.

    “Sometimes the appointments made available on the system were not suitable to the client’s availability”

Who was the calendar useful to
Who was the calendar useful to?

  • 3 out of 4 replied to the clients

  • 2 out of 4 replied to their organisation

  • 1 out of 4 replied to my own work.

    * Respondents were given the option of ticking all that applied.

Did you receive as many referrals as expected
Did you receive as many referrals as expected?

  • 2 out of 4 said No

  • 1 out of 4 said ‘not sure how many to expect’

  • 1 out of 4 said ‘Yes’

Did you make as many referrals as expected
Did you make as many referrals as expected?

  • 2 out of 4 said yes

  • 2 out of 4 said no

  • Other comments:

    “Very useful in cases where clients contacted our service too late to be seen by a deadline, we were able to make an appointment with the Fed, for example, in time”

Were you satisfied with one person managing setting up the calendar
Were you satisfied with one person managing/setting up the calendar?

  • 3 out 4 said Yes

  • 1 out of 4 answer not valid as question was misunderstood. Comment below:

    “Adviceline workers found the system useful for referring to other agencies[...]we have many part-time workers so the system could work well if it can be used by several people”

What have you learned as a partner of this pathfinder
What have you learned as a partner of this pathfinder? calendar?

“Very important to have clear guidance and/or a contact person to know what the referral criteria are”

“Joint working is difficult to get right but other partners have something really useful to offer”

“The system could potentially be useful for referral duty staff and developed for Adviceline workers. It might also be useful for other/new projects within my agency”

“That it is essential to understand the providers funding criteria to make effective appointments”

Would you like to use the shared calendar again
Would you like to use the shared calendar again? calendar?

  • 3 out of 4 said Yes

  • 1 out of 4 said No

    Other comments: “I found that it kept back appointments that I could have offered and the rate of use wasn’t high enough to make it worthwhile. It also took extra time to arrange appointments this way than if the other partner had got the client to call us. It also had a higher rate of non attendance than usual appts”

    “Yes, although it can be challenging to get a booking done during busy sessions”

Lessons learned
Lessons Learned calendar?

  • An online shared calendar tool is useful for agencies and clients.

  • Some agencies have by now replaced their own working calendars with Nellbooker.

  • Nellbooker is a cost-effective option which meets most of the advice sector needs at the moment.

  • Continuation of Nellbooker referrals across agencies requires coordination amongst agencies, therefore more time and resources by each agency.

Lessons learned1
Lessons Learned calendar?

  • Appointments for some agencies had extremely low take-up or no take up at all. The two main reasons reported for this were the lack of eligible clients/cases and the lack of available appointments for clients’ preferences. This will required further reviewing.

  • Two agencies reported higher no-show rates for appointments booked on Nellboker (compared to other appointments). This will require further testing including clients’ feedback.

  • The shared electronic calendar has been useful and is welcome by agencies. For the pathfinder to be developed into a more sustainable model, agencies will need to decide how much resource they can/are willing to dedicate to the model and how they can make the most of each other’s services when helping their clients. The local authority can play a role by providing incentives to facilitate the continuation of joint working.

Shared calendar pathfinder1
Shared Calendar Pathfinder calendar?

Questions & Answers