September 26, 2019
We are delighted to announce that the Blue Badge Digital Service was a winner in the Best Data Centre/Hosting MSP Project at the Managed Services & Hosting Awards. The service has already received several awards. This award, however, recognises one of the crucial but often overlooked, facets that help to deliver excellent digital services – ongoing technical infrastructure, management and support.
The Managed Services & Hosting Awards seeks to recognise excellence in the design and delivery of managed services products and services. Winning in the Best Data Centre/Hosting MSP Project categoryis a reflection of the benefit delivered to the Department for Transport (DfT), the local authorities administering the system as well as the end-users in terms of efficiency and cost savings.
Efficiently replacing legacy infrastructure
In partnership with Valtech, DfT replaced the previous service with one built on GOV.UK. The legacy service was the most-complained-about digital service in the DfT. There was one clear objective – to better meet the needs of users who are severely disabled people or organisations who care for disabled people.
Having replaced an existing system, the new Blue Badge digital service is deployed on AWS infrastructure. Valtech’s Managed Services team designed a solution that delivered availability to multiple user groups and integration via external APIs while securing the data of more than 7.5m users. The service also supports continuous improvement by the team.
Reliable, secure and available
With 206 Blue Badge issuing councils spread across the UK, this presented a considerable design and engagement challenge for the delivery team. The service needed to be easy-to-use and effective in terms of digital take-up and digital completion rates. However, the service must also be reliable and secure to meet user needs and be robust and available to those working within the DfT, the local authorities and, of course, to end-users.
Increasing digital take-up and completion rates
The strength of the managed service has supported the already-positive results delivered by the new service. Just a few months since its launch, digital take-up has increased from 37% to 57%, and the application completion rate has been improved from 33% to 70%. The DfT is forecasting a £4.75m saving for local government in the first year of the new service.
“It’s important to see the delivery of a digital service as part of an ongoing process,” said Cheryl Edwards, Delivery Director at Valtech UK. “Deploying the application is only the start and, at Valtech, we make sure that security, support and the ability to continue to improve the service are factored into the overall managed service design.”
About the Blue Badge service
The Blue Badge Scheme provides 3 million disabled people across the UK with a parking permit that allows them to park closer to their destination. The DfT is responsible for the central policy and legislation governing the scheme. The legal obligation to issue badges to eligible disabled people sits with 207 Local Authorities.