The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for the welfare and pensions policy. It is the biggest public service delivery department in the UK, serving more than 20 million customers. The department’s priorities are to simplify the welfare system, encourage people to work, reduce poverty, reform pensions, enable disabled people to fulfil their potential and improve its service to the public. It regularly needs to provide updates on each of these areas to the 382 local authorities across the UK and wanted a platform to do so more efficiently.

“We were initially using Huddle to liaise with our IT suppliers after they recommended it to us. But there was a light bulb moment when we realised it would also help us communicate faster and work more efficiently with local authorities,” explained Glen Skinner, Local Authority Delivery Team project member, Department for Work and Pensions. “Huddle was a tool that would meet our demands and deliver the service we needed. We needed an online platform that could be securely accessed by all parties as we didn’t have the resources to roll out a software installation across each local authority.” Prior to Huddle, the DWP was relying on email and e-bulletins to provide the updates that local authorities needed. However, this was time consuming and created many duplications of content, so it was clear a more efficient tool was required. 

“It was time consuming to both format and send out the content. Email also doesn’t provide a clear audit trail to monitor activity like Huddle does. We had the additional problem that the local authorities might not receive emails as each of them has two accounts, one secure account for receiving the data updates and another standard one. With Huddle, they can choose which account gets the updates, but still stay within the required (IL2) security levels, to get news sent to the one they check most often.”

The Department for Work and Pensions sends regular updates across a specialist system to each of the local authorities in the UK. With Huddle, it can manage any issues, such as a transfer delay, with the data transfer. “If there have been any issues, we can show that we are aware of it immediately and provide updates to the local authorities. We can also warn people if there is going to be a delay. The file names also change each time we attempt to send it through so we can let people know what to look out for. This added layer of interaction helps us maintain our relationships with the local authorities, showing that we are dealing with any issues as quickly as possible,” said Skinner.

The Local Authority Support Team at the DWP uses Huddle’s whiteboards to provide updates to the different local authorities. As updates are sent as soon as the DWP is aware of any issues, the local authorities can find out what is going on straight away. It has reduced the number of calls and emails questioning where the information is, so the DWP can concentrate on fixing the problem. 

There are 100 super users in the Department for Work and Pensions and more than 1,200 local authority users across the UK. With Huddle, the DWP saves all updates and the local authorities receive them in one central, secure location. It enables the DWP to monitor how successful its updates have been by tracking how many people have viewed them. 

“Huddle is self-moderated by the super users but we have conditions of use laid out in each workspace. We also have a team workspace so if there is an issue we can discuss it outside of view from everyone else. We can then add comments and edit before making public.”

“Now, when we need to communicate a message to local authorities, our preferred method is Huddle. It enables us to communicate quickly and effectively with our key stakeholders. It has been easily adopted by all users as it’s so intuitive to use,” said Skinner. “The main benefit has been saving our time and resources and it’s also provided a more dynamic tool for all users to use to get their jobs done.”


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