Supporting the fight against Covid-19 with community hub software

By Peter O'Hara | 20 April 2020

With the COVID-19 outbreak, there has rightly been significant concern about the impact on social care and health. The sector was under immense strain, through  lack of funding and increased demand, even before the pandemic.  It was therefore important to me that OLM was able to support the effort in any way we could. To do that, we quickly set up an innovation forum where our staff could share ideas about how we could help the effort; this ranged from teams with 3D printers printing PPE equipment in their spare time, to ways we could use software and technology to assist the effort.

A key idea that stuck out was developing software that could be used to support the operations in the newly established community hubs. The hubs use a team of  community healthcare providers, social services, voluntary groups, transport providers and other responders to support those that have been discharged early from hospital, in addition to the vulnerable people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well.

We were aware of tools like Goodsam being developed and  wanted to create a complementary software solution that would help to complete the jigsaw. The local authority finds volunteers on Goodsam and contacts them, but how do you manage the operational elements and record the detail of the service provided? Due to the adaptability of our software  platform we were quickly able to develop a software solution specific to the needs of the community hubs.

Our solution is called ECLIPSE Lite; it acts as an online community whiteboard to coordinate members work.  It is designed specifically to coordinate the responses of each community hub across the United Kingdom, to ensure that multiple organisations can effectively coordinate their approaches to the pandemic.  It works on any device, enabling staff and volunteers to view and update information on cases, and provides details of an individual’s met and unmet needs for areas such as accommodation, transport, provisions, health and care, and social support.  

ECLIPSE Lite means that professionals and volunteers can view and update information as required, on any device, even their own.  The key to the success of any system rolled out at pace is simplicity. Therefore, we have made it simple to use and easy to learn, with additional training online.  It incorporates a community hub dashboard which response coordinators use to identify what extra help is needed and for who. Crucially, the solution indicates any COVID-19 test data to safeguard community hub teams against possible infection (which will be useful when widescale testing becomes available).

It is extremely important for everyone to pull together at this time of crisis. Supported by, Google we have been able to provide the software 100%  free of charge to local authorities until the end of September. We are currently in discussions with a number of English and Scottish local authorities with regard to the roll out of this tool.

For further information on ECLIPSE Lite, or to request an online demonstration, please email

Peter O’Hara is chief executive at OLM


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