For those living with HIV and Hep C, Waverley Care provides mental health support, support for treatment appointments, and infant formula for mothers who are HIV positive.
To support prevention, they provide education sessions, outreach at community events, testing for blood-borne viruses, and dispense sexual health information and materials including condoms.
The policy arm of the charity works to influence and improve the wider landscape for people living with HIV and Hepatitis C in Scotland. They went from tracking interventions and outcomes to being able to record and monitor all their services and activities including events, outreach, referral through different pathways and testing. This transformed what was possible with their data, giving them a much more holistic overview.
Now, handling queries about testing or other activities is as simple as running a report. That data can then be either viewed in the web browser or downloaded to be further analysed in a spreadsheet. Previously, this type of reporting and analysis took a couple of days whereas now it's a couple of hours.
Understanding the landscape
The vast array of features in Charitylog was a huge departure from their previous system. One of the key lightbulb moments during implementation was when the Waverley Care team understood how to interact with Charitylog. Once they made that connection they were able to navigate within Charitylog with confidence and the system became intuitive.
The implementation support gave the team a solid foundation of knowledge of the structure and functions within Charitylog. With this understanding of how the system works and where different features can be found and used, Charitylog has become intuitive to use. Tim, who delivered the implementation support, worked closely with the team on specific organisational needs. He helped to teach not just how to use the system but how to change and adapt it. No question asked was too simple, or too complex and the support was invaluable.
Charitylog is designed to enable changes made by each organisation and the Waverley Care team are reassured that the support is there when they need it, including being able to revisit the training log and support videos. Setting required data areas within Charitylog has proved to be a helpful way to guide people within the system, especially when onboarding new users of the system, and for those members of the team who were used to the ‘old way of working’.
As with most organisations, Waverley Care have various groups of people who need access to different parts of the system. Charitylog makes managing access very easy across implementation teams, project managers, individuals in charge of contracts, project workers, other staff, ensuring each user only has access to the scope of information they need.
"Only once you use Charitylog, do you realise how bad the things you were using before were."
Christopher Ward, Senior Health Improvement Manager
"Charitylog makes managing access very easy, ensuring each user only has access to the scope of information they need."
Christopher Ward, Senior Health Improvement Manager
Favourite Features and Areas of Impact
Volunteer management has been a game changer for Waverley Care; it’s something that was very challenging previously. By inputting volunteers, the volunteer co-ordinator can track and monitor volunteer recruitment and development, volunteer documentation, training and progress making the whole service more robust.
Outreach is one of the key activities, which before Charitylog involved wrestling with excel spreadsheets. Reporting outreach now is as simple as being able to pull a range of data by geographical location or by project. Likewise, time spent with and travelling to meet an individual was often difficult to articulate. In NHS Highland, this can mean travelling up to 192 miles to see one service user. Being able to account for travel time and transportation costs amid increases in cost of living and petrol price means they have evidence to inform and justify allocating funding to these costs.
Another favourite feature is the flexibility of ‘extension databases’ which the Waverley Care team view as giving them the ability to be creative with Charitylog to design solutions to match their needs. As well as giving greater control over their data, extension databases have provided oversight and the opportunity to identify gaps and validate funding opportunities which has contributed to the success of multiple funding applications.
Overall, the shift from a number of different sources of evidence to one source of clear metrics and measures has positively impacted areas across the service. Reporting on trends and outcomes relating to mental health support, service users with suicidal thoughts or by project helps the charity to deploy services where they are most needed.
When reporting uncovered peer groups who were feeling isolated and alone over Christmas, while also experiencing accommodation problems, Charitylog provided the evidence for Waverley Care to secure additional funding to specifically address the problems. Where new projects are identified, Charitylog’s adaptability means the charity is able to monitor and evaluate things effectively in real time.
Summarising their experience with migrating to Charitylog, Christopher Ward said, “Only once you use Charitylog, do you realise how bad the things you were using before were.”