Case Studies

Discovery about occupational health workforce data, for the Work and Health Unit

The Work and Health Unit works The Work and Health Unit is jointly sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care. It works across government and the wider public sector to improve the health and employment outcomes for disabled people and those with health conditions.

Project overview

We were asked by the joint DHSC and DWP Work and Health Unit to explore the viability of a service to collect data about the occupational health workforce in England.

The discovery was commissioned following the consultation Health is everyone’s business, which suggested the possibility of a new service that might capture and monitor existing and new data about the occupational health workforce to support business and workforce planning.

Project goals

The main goals for the project were for the client to understand:

  • The needs of Data consumers (including DHSC and DWP policy makers, academics, sector/industry, professional bodies)
  • The ​needs​ of [prospective] data providers (including workforce managers/administrators, individual workers, across private and public, national to small-scale)
  • The ​needs​ of the service’s administrators (including DHSC OH Team)
  • What needs should be prioritised and how they could be met
  • The current OH workforce data ecosystem including data sources, what data is commonly collected, who owns the data and technologies
  • What a provisional data model could look like if required to meet needs and ‘increase insight’
  • The technology ecosystem and options for the prospective service
  • The potential costs, resourcing, challenges, and risks of introducing a digital service and its wider service model
  • The rigorous evidence needed to develop into clear, actionable recommendations for a technical solution and wider service implementation

Project team

To do this, the Lagom project team consisted of a Lead Digital Strategist, Senior User Researcher, Delivery Manager, User Researcher and Strategist and UX Designer from Lagom. We also partnered with Torchbox who added a Senior Data and Technical Architect and Data and Technical Architect to the team.

What we did

  • Reviewed 21 online and documentary sources
  • Conducted 13 stakeholder interviews
  • Conducted 19 one-to-one user interviews
  • Developed 4 user proto-personas
  • Created and prioritised 42 user stories
  • Developed and tested a set of concept prototypes

Our discovery included user interviews and workshops, an analysis of stakeholder perspectives, and a thorough review of technology and data options led by our partners at Torchbox.

Our landscape analysis drew on lessons from the owners of other existing workforce data collections, including the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set. 

Our outputs included a set of tested, low fidelity concept prototypes that explored the ways in which workforce data might be collected, managed and consumed.

Image: screenshots from some of the concept prototypes developed during the discovery

A challenge was the different perspectives we heard amongst users and stakeholders about the definition of occupational health, and the roles that exist within the occupational health workforce. 

We learned it’s not straightforward to define the edges of the occupational health workforce, which presents challenges to collecting workforce data. Our recommendations, and our suggested data model, had to account for these different perspectives. 

Project outcomes

The Discovery concluded with a prioritised user stories backlog and and a set of recommendations for how to take the work forward. 

It then proceeded to an Alpha phase.

“Lagom worked with our joint DHSC/DWP Work and Health Unit to deliver this digital OH data discovery. Deploying a wide range of expertise and activities they were able to successfully capture and articulate perspectives of a diverse range of users to support this project.
Lagom were receptive to the needs of our team and we were impressed at how quickly they were able to get up to speed on the detail of the issue that required resolving and use of agile methodology applied to project activities.”

Scott Mathewson, Work and Health Unit

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