collective voice

Thanks for dropping by our blog page. Our team of over 60 full-time experts use the latest thinking in behavioural design and enablement via our people-shaped methodology to Make Better Happen for individuals, organisations and communities. Our specialisms of applied behavioural insights, design through co-creation and leading-edge social marketing and engagement are at the core of all that we do. Our mission is to be part of a society that is well, confident and resilient. If we can help you take a journey to be your best self, please call us on 0845 5193 423 - our promise to you is that we never settle for second best.

Is it time to get on board with the online wellbeing disruptors?

November 18, 2016 10:06

Easy answer – yes. But for a start, let’s commit heresy, and ditch the word ‘disruptor’. It’s already stopped being a useful concept and is now a meaningless buzzword.

The simple fact is that healthcare and wellbeing are branching out and embracing new ways of reaching more people in more effective ways. As health and wellbeing services in the UK are, in the main, commissioned (and often delivered) by the NHS and local authorities, new technology is having a significant impact.

So what does this mean for providers and commissioners like you? It’s all about understanding the consumer, as a recent report by PWC explains.

Our health and wellbeing platform at is based on a huge amount of qualitative research with people all over the UK and quantitative analysis of data. This research produced some genuine insight into their needs:

  • People want to do more for themselves but don’t want to be dependent on a traditional local ‘service’ to get results
  • People have great aspirations for their families
  • People are fed up with the traditional support model for lifestyle services
  • People are fed up with silos of support and want services joined up
  • People distrust local authorities and ‘Government’ and want to do things for themselves
  • People made little differentiation between NHS and ‘Government’

Puffell is based on these fundamental principles and is now being used across the UK as a front line ‘shop window’ of lifestyle services for citizens to get key information about lifestyles and long term conditions, set goals and track their progress. Service providers use the sophisticated back end as a case management tool, allowing them to provide the right level of support to every type of person locally – from those who need full on face to face support and interventions to those who just need signposting to the right tools, as well as everyone in between.

The good news is that however the user is supported, commissioners and providers are able to understand how whole populations are making lifestyle improvements and where to target their resources most effectively as a result.

And we are seeing it work: smokers are reducing the average amount smoked per day[1]; people are reducing the amount of alcohol units they consume each day[2]; and people tracking their weight are showing an average 4% body weight reduction[3].

A report by Appboy earlier this year showed that less than 20% of new health and fitness app users return the day after they first download it. Yet Puffell has proved to be used consistently over time by people trying to make a lifestyle change. Unlike other apps, you actually get to see the anonymous data behind it for your area.

Puffell is the only dedicated platform that has been developed in partnership with NHS CCGs, hospital trusts, community trusts, local authorities and Public Health England, and is endorsed by the NHS Innovation team.

It’s time to get on board with Puffell to support your citizens with lifestyle, wellbeing and long term conditions management.

To find out how you can get involved, contact Stuart Jackson on 0845 5193 423 or at

[1] Mean reduction of 7.4 cigarettes smoked over average of 158 days

[2] Mean difference of 4.3 units tracked per day over average of 127 days

[3] Mean difference of 3.1 kg tracked over average of 168 days

Revenues and Benefits Case Study

October 14, 2016 10:59

Revenues and Benefits Case Study

ICE Creates was commissioned to support the Revenues & Benefits team at Tewkesbury Borough Council to review the way they delivered their services in light of the national changes around welfare. The aim was to release capacity to focus on a more joined up approach around financial inclusion. Against a range of local and national performance targets, it was shown that the service was at bottom quartile levels and that staff were struggling to cope with a never-ending backlog and rising customer complaints.


Read More.....  Revenues and Benefits Case Study

For more information please contact:

Rachel Stamp

07979 906 065 

An Achievement to be Proud of

January 28, 2016 09:27

January can often be a time to reflect on what we have achieved in the last year. For me, a standout was spending time at the IRRV national conference with the Revenues & Benefits team from Tewkesbury Borough Council – and what an event it turned out to be!

Almost 12 months ago, ICE began working on a transformation programme with the service, and the conference was the culmination and celebration of all that we have achieved together. It’s been a long journey but with outstanding results, and the commitment and enthusiasm of the team throughout the process has been a pleasure to witness.

The team wanted to improve efficiency and processes, drive culture change and, most importantly, determine how to deliver better services to their customers. At the outset they had backlogs of work and long processing times.  The service was very reactive, with little or no capacity to look into the future and be proactive in their approach.

Using the ICE 7Es model, we worked with the team to transfer skills and knowledge which empowered them to make significant and sustainable changes in their system. The outcome: recognition at the IRRV Performance Awards 2015 as a top performing service and a transformation to be truly proud of.

One of the key features of ICE’s 7Es model is that we work with you and not doing change to you. Therefore, working together, the teams have achieved so much, including:

  • The Benefits team being ranked 15 out of 201 district councils and top performer in Gloucestershire
  • Elimination of the backlog of work
  • New claims: processing time reduced from 37 days to 9 days
  • Change of circumstances: processing time reduced from 25 days to 8 days
  • Significant increase in Benefits subsidy
  • 80% reduction in failure demand into the Benefits service
  • 75% increase in Revenues customers having their accounts administered at the point of contact
  • 60% reduction in incorrect ad-hoc bills
  • Creation of a motivated and empowered work force: open to change and with capacity to build wider partnerships

The core team we worked with included all levels of staff from the front line through to the Head of Service, with leadership and sponsorship from the Deputy Chief Executive. Having achieved so much in such a short space of time, we decided that it would be a great idea to enter the IRRV Performance Awards.  The service had never considered this in the past and it was testimony to the new way in which they now looked at their world. So, together, we began to think about the applications and put pen to paper.

To our delight, both the Revenues and Benefits teams were shortlisted into the last five nationally for their respective team of the year awards. The awards panel sent judges along to the Council to talk to the team about the work that they had done, and are continuing to do.  This was a great success, with both teams subsequently being invited along to the IRRV Performance Awards Gala dinner in Telford on 7th October 2015.

It was a joy to see their pride and sense of achievement on the awards night, and the realisation that they were indeed recognised for their hard work and positive attitude towards continuous service improvement.  I watched with all of the pride of a mother around her brood as they awaited the results and, despite not getting the award overall, they truly believed in themselves and their own achievements as their name came up on the big screen as national finalists.

Giving those that do the work the power, culture and enthusiasm to keep making better happen is truly a rewarding job and makes me realise it’s why I go to work every day, and something I can be truly proud of.

You don’t need a trophy or an award to be a winner, you just need the right way of thinking and the behaviour to keep on going, to achieve the outcomes you seek and to keep on growing.

Here’s to the next 12 months and the journey that keeps on going!

To find out more about ICE’s 7Es model and how we can help you on your transformation journey, contact: or call 0151 647 4700

Improved Tenant Experience from Repairs

January 14, 2016 10:15


One thing the ICE insight team find is that a tenant’s experience of reactive repairs clouds their view of many other services supplied by the housing provider. Further, this insight also shows that tenants will not strive for or achieve personal growth (in skills, wellbeing, employment etc) when the basics are not right. Repairs are one of these basic requirements; this is true whether it’s a local authority or a housing association.

The quotes below are from our insight work with a housing association and are not unusual:

“I’ve been trying to get this leak fixed in my roof. They said I should talk to them, but they have been a pain.”

“It’s bad… we had about an eight week battle to get the patio doors fixed.”

ICE is currently working within the sector to help organisations enhance the services and support provided to tenants, and to understand the benefits that a tenant focused repairs service can deliver. It’s worth remembering that reporting a repair is the most common interaction between tenants and their housing provider, and we all know how important that relationship is to both parties.

Working with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, our service review identified that over 30% of contacts received were from tenants chasing the progress of their repair. This volume was higher than those contacts where tenants reported a repair. This one statistic alone gives real insight into how tenants perceive the service they are provided with, and was the catalyst for the council’s desire to transform.

Here’s how it worked…

The work was based on the ICE model for service transformation, where our experienced practitioners help staff transform their own services - after all, “those who create, own”.

It began with stakeholder meetings designed to set up the work cleanly by building relationships across the service and with wider stakeholders to ensure the most value from the review.

Then followed the explore stage, where a team representing the whole of the service was brought together to create a current state map.  This visual representation of the in-scope work included the demands placed on the service by its customers, the flow of work and data to show the performance of the systems, as well as details of the root cause of reactive repairs.

The envisage stage then allowed the team to present these findings back to the wider stakeholder group at a vision workshop, ranging from tenant representatives to the executive management team. It was at this event that areas for improvement were agreed, and buy-in from across the organisation was gained. This buy-in was vital to ensure that any changes would be sustained in the future.

Through a period of experimentation, operatives, charge-hands and team managers were given the ability to use innovative solutions to the issues they faced.  They used an agreed methodology that built upon the principles of systems thinking to guide them, and measured the changes made against an agreed set of customer focused performance measures.

What did it achieve?

As well as virtually eliminating the failure demand chasing the progress of a repair, the team has reduced the time for reporting to completing the repair by over 50%, with plumbing repairs now running at an average of less than 2 days.

Reduced repair times have also had a knock-on effect to the “no access rate”, which had been a major cause of waste within the system.

It is still early days, and January sees a period where ICE will support the services to embed these changes and make them business as usual.

For more information contact 0151 647 04700