National award highlights digital innovation in new meals system for Aberdeen’s elderly

Aberdeen City Council’s customer experience team have received a national award for the most innovative use of ICT in delivering public service.

The team won the Innovate Award at Holyrood's 2016 Connect ICT Awards dinner for pushing the boundaries of digital technology to transform how tenants in Very Sheltered Accommodation order and pay for their meals.

The new online, smartcard enabled system was developed by Council’s officers and delivers a simple, fair and flexible service throughout the City.

The My Choice programme replaces the usual weekly paper menu for ordering with a tablet or touchscreen based menu and is the first of its kind in the UK.

Tenants use their National Entitlement Card to check their balance, place an order, check what they’ve ordered and make a payment online.

Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: “By developing a new digital framework for providing services in our sheltered housing accommodation, our team have saved on endless administration costs and have freed up resources for to provide an even more comprehensive service to our tenants.

“Even more inspiring is that the new system has seen our elderly tenants engage with technology in a way they wouldn’t have previously done.

“The team are to be commended for their efforts and foresight in developing a digital infrastructure which includes those in our society least familiar with it.”

Since the introduction of the new system, 70% of meals are now paid for online, reducing the time spent handling cash onsite and has halved the frequency of cash needing to be banked.