Client Portal to Sustain Drug and Alcohol Recovery

Service user client portal interfaces

Client Portal to Sustain Drug and Alcohol Recovery

York City Council has used our Theseus: Drug and Alcohol case management system for since 2011.

Its delivery partner, Changing Lives, prides itself on providing tailored support to people challenging their dependency across the North East and Yorkshire and is always on hand to help people take their first steps towards abstinence as well as supporting their ongoing recovery.

Most recently we were asked by the Partnership if their substance misuse caseload system could be augmented by a client portal to enhance the sense of ownership clients have in their recovery journey and to support sustained engagement with recovery plans.

Client Portal User Experience Design

Image showing client portal planning process

Client Portal User Experience Design

Our Theseus platform is constantly evolving and we came into the project having already spent over 18 months developing our new responsive Theseus user interface (UI). Specifically to facilitate consumer / client facing features such as client portals.

One of our unique assets is our in-house team of User-Experience Design (UX) experts which has enabled us to seamlessly integrate Theseus caseload management with front-facing engagement websites and self-assessment and referral interfaces.

We built on these foundations to research, plan and wireframe a revolutionary frontend with exciting potential, both for new and for existing Theseus customers.

Health and Wellbeing Engagement

Imagery of client portal in action

Health and Wellbeing Engagement

As well as being able to deliver client engagement interfaces, the new UI is beneficial for staff and partners in specialist roles, or those doing mobile working. The timing of the Changing Lives project was ideal as it enabled us to utilise the Service’s expertise and gain an excellent understanding of the features necessary for effective recovery plans – one of the key feature sets the new UI facilitates.

The familiar and powerful Theseus backend is available in parallel with these new features and Changing Lives can use their client record area to create client portal accounts.

Substance Misuse Client Portal

Substance Misuse Client Portal

When they login for the first time, service users are greeted with a Service defined welcome message. From here clients are assisted by keyworkers to add a long-term goal and create a recovery plan within their portal account.

Agreeing a recovery plan helps give service users a sense of focus within often complex lives and needs.

As part of their plan, clients can identify potential barriers and pick from a list of personal areas that they would like to improve to set their objectives, for example, mental and physical health, money, relationships and their substance dependencies. Service users are free to choose multiple areas to set goals they would like to achieve.

Health and Wellbeing Engagement on the Go

Client portal presentation on different types of device

Health and Wellbeing Engagement on the Go

Because the new Theseus UI is fully responsive, service users can easily interact with the portal’s features on their smartphone and tablet devices. Indeed optimisations have been made for the client portal specific to common use cases: smartphone (portrait), tablet, desktop, and widescreen displays.

For example, the Changing Lives portal enables service users to score their mental and physical health and overall quality of life and the results are shown in mobile-friendly charts to enable clients to see their progress over time.

Empowering Substance Misuse Clients

Client portal journal feature in action

Empowering Substance Misuse Clients

Clients can review and update their recovery plans as frequently as they like, however the portal automatically prompts them to do so at least every 3 months.

As part of the review process, service users can record if they feel they have achieved their goals, or are still in the process of working towards them. They’re also able to extend their recovery plans with additional objectives.

Keyworkers can view their clients’ progress against recovery plans in the client record area of their Theseus system.

Sustaining Engagement with Drug and Alcohol Recovery

Typically appointments can be up to 2-3 weeks apart and client focus may drift between these sessions. We implemented a client journal feature with the portal which enables service users to record their feelings and thoughts on a daily basis. This also serves as a helpful point of reference for clients to reflect on their progress prior to attending the next session with their keyworker.

Additionally, the portal delivers time-saving and useful admin features for the Service. Clients can:

View Appointments

View details of their next upcoming session (thereby mitigating the impact of missed appointments).

Update Details

Update their contact details (useful for clients regularly changing phones).

Reset Security

Reset their passwords and security questions.


Provide consent to different channels of communication.

The Results

Changing Lives now has an intuitive and professional client portal perfectly in-keeping with its brand identity.

The new portal is a powerful engagement tool and helps to sustain client focus during their journey to recovery.

The project has also significantly aided the progression of the new Theseus UI which is now available to benefit new and existing health and wellbeing services who wish to increase engagement with service users, or who wish to provide their staff and partners with focussed, specialised interfaces for use on the go.