Transforming services to better meet the needs of children in Nottinghamshire

The problem

The Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP) wanted to redesign its Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub’s (MASH) operating model to better meet the needs of children, young people and families, and better support professionals making referrals.

The NSCP brings together Local Authority, police and NHS stakeholders to help keep children safe, identifying and responding to safeguarding and social care needs.

But many of the children and young people referred to the MASH often need support beyond these statutory services.

The NSCP knew that if they could better identify children and families’ wider needs and provide support earlier, this would help prevent their situations from getting more challenging and reduce the need for future social care interventions.

What we did

Public Digital supported the NSCP to design a new operating model for its MASH. We set them up to continuously improve the service, by taking a user-centred and iterative approach to ensure they are able to provide the right support for the right child at the right time.

We provided a team of transformation experts with skills in agile delivery, service design and data to team up with the NSCP. Together, we worked to research and understand their users' needs, and identify opportunities to change the way they work to achieve better outcomes.


Most critically we supported the individual partners of the NSCP to come together as a unified service team, united around a clear vision and mission. We helped them to adapt their governance approach, enabling the team to establish a mandate to make decisions as an empowered multidisciplinary unit. 

We introduced key agile ceremonies like retrospectives and planning. We set them up to work in the open by default, in order to continue to build the transparency and trust upon which any successful partnership depends.

Based on our understanding of the user needs, we articulated and prioritised the partnership’s ideas and hypotheses about how to improve the way their service is delivered. We began a process of testing and learning which has become a fundamental part of how the partnership operates.

The new delivery models we tested with the NSCP showed that joined-up working across the partnership led to better and faster information sharing; more tailored needs-led advice, given more quickly; a better experience for service users and greater job satisfaction for those delivering the service.

What we achieved

  1. 1

    We supported the NSCP to create a vision and mission for their service to act as a north star for their transformation.

  2. 2

    We helped the team achieve immediate impact in meeting referrer needs more quickly and effectively, improving outcomes for children.

  3. 3

    We embedded a culture of experimentation and established fast feedback loops, to enable the NSCP to better understand and respond to user needs.

  4. 4

    We set them up to work in the open as much as possible, so they could continue building transparency and trust between the different partner organisations.

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