Within Public Sector, information sharing is paramount between services and partner agencies since service users usually interact with multiple agencies. In order to build a picture of a service user’s situation, it is critical that there is increased transparency in the information each of this service holds.

 

Family

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One of the biggest challenges faced when managing high-risk complex cases is the ability to receive timely information.

Trivallis, one of Wales largest housing associations partnered up with South Wales Police and Cardiff Council to share information on high-risk cases and vulnerable adults for the sole purpose of delivering better support to their tenants.This saw them shortlisted to win two awards this month by Resolve ASB for Best Project Award and the Community Safety Award by CIH.

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Data and System Integration enables Multi-Agency Working within public services

By working in isolation, public services and partner agencies lose sight of the wider vulnerabilities. Opportunities for early intervention can be overlooked. This is essential to deliver a proactive service for citizens and communities. Furthermore, public services and partner agencies are universally accepting that system integration for information sharing is key. It enables strategic needs assessment and targeted planning of resources.

At Locality Solutions, we work with our customers to understand the benefits of systems integration between internal and external management systems for the benefit of information sharing.

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“Information sharing and data innovation is at the heart of public sector reforms.” Professor Miriam Lips

Locality Solutions & CVUHB – Working together to create Safer Communities.

With the Well-being of Future Generations Act playing a central role on how best to improve citizen outcomes, public services are finding better ways on information sharing for a more joined-up approach in delivering a holistic service.

Our recent project with the Cardiff & Vale Health board has been a great example of how public services have identified that collaboration is key to ensure prevention and reduction of frequent attenders to the A&E.

It’s been 2 months into our project with CVUHB and the A&E Department, Heath Hospital  Cardiff, and we’ve learnt a great deal about the challenges public services and partner agencies face when working together.

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Housing associations deliver more than just bricks and mortar ! They have a unique role in ensuring more than just supplying houses. They also need to deliver an appropriate level of service for the increased health and well being of their tenants.

The role of housing associations are adapting to complement and drive the primary care strategy alongside NHS. The sector has seen first hand the impact poverty, welfare reform and public service budget cuts have affected individuals and families across the UK. With the introduction of the Futures Generation Act, housing needs to consider how best they drive the growing demand of people requiring relevant services due to tougher conditions.

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A group of Cardiff-based businesses have added their names to the growing list of supporters of the Homes for Wales campaign for universal affordable housing in Wales.

 

Technology firm Locality Solutions and the Royal Society of Architects in Wales, based in Cardiff’s Creative Quarter, and PR firm Chatterbox Communications, based at Welsh ICE in Caerphilly, are amongst those calling on the next Welsh Government to clearly set out how it will address the housing crisis as part of the new Programme for Government.

 

Concerned about a lack of appropriate housing and welfare cuts, the businesses share Homes for Wales’ belief that everyone has the right to safe, secure and affordable housing. Since 2008, house prices have risen by 16% and, in Wales, 12,000 new homes are needed each year to meet demand. In addition, more than 5,000 households were accepted as homeless in 2015, whilst 8,596 families have been on the housing waiting list since before the last election.

 

Locality Solutions, which creates smart, mobile technology to help some of Wales’s leading housing associations tackle issues such as anti social behaviour and domestic violence, believes collaboration is key to making communities safer. Head of customer experience Ollie John said:

“Collaboration between housing stakeholders in Wales can shape the way for strong, desirable, cohesive communities but we need the support of the next Welsh Government. Significant investment into affordable housing is required to achieve this and Locality is proud to support the Homes for Wales campaign.”

 

 

RSAW director Mary Wrenn said:

“RSAW is proud to support the Homes for Wales campaign because we believe that housing is the most fundamental of human rights and architects have a key role to play in creating homes that are practical and sustainable, to suit all budgets and needs.”

 

Chatterbox Communications creative director Rebecca Lees added:

“I was extremely lucky to get on the property ladder just before the boom but, for my children’s generation, affordable housing will be out of reach for many. The next Welsh Government must take notice of this vital campaign and make homes a priority – for everyone, not just the lucky few.”  

 

Members of the group plan to join a rally in Cardiff on Friday, March 4, marching from the Senedd to the city centre in support of Homes for Wales. The coalition, led by seven organisations, has the backing of actor Michael Sheen as well as hundreds of housing providers, organisations and individuals.  

 

DSC_0168

 

ENDS

Photo (l-r): Locality Solutions managing director Adrian Leen, product director Karen Boparoy  and finance director Steve Smith. Credit: Helen Williams Photography

 

NOTES TO ED:

 

The businesses have also written a letter in support of the campaign to Wales’ leading newspapers, as well as politicians.

For more information or further images, please call Rebecca on 07950 060613 or email chat@chatterboxcomms.co.uk

 

LETTER OF SUPPORT

We Support Homes for Wales

We’ve teamed up with Royal Society of Architects in Wales and Chatterbox Communication in joint support of the Homes for Wales Campaign.

 

 

 

Creative Quarter

Morgan Arcade

The Hayes

Cardiff

CF10 1AF

Tuesday, March 1st 2016

 

Ahead of the forthcoming Welsh Assembly elections, we would like to add our names to the growing list of businesses supporting Homes for Wales and its campaign for universal affordable housing in Wales.

 

A lack of appropriate housing and welfare cuts are issues we are extremely concerned about, which is why we are calling on the next Welsh Government to clearly set out how it will address the housing crisis as part of the new Programme for Government.

 

Like Homes for Wales, we fundamentally believe that everyone has the right to safe, secure and affordable housing. Yet since 2008, house prices have risen by 16% and, in Wales, 12,000 new homes are needed each year to meet demand. In 2015, 5,070 households were accepted as homeless, whilst 8,596 families have been on the housing waiting list since before the last election. We view such insecurity as unacceptable and believe that the new government has a duty to bring about a sea change in housing conditions.

 

We suggest that collaboration is more important than ever if we are to achieve our vision of cohesive, strong and desirable communities in Wales, with architects, planners, housing associations, service providers, politicians and tenants working efficiently and effectively together. Now is the time to build communities for the next generation, giving families a home to call their own without the need to constantly move and change schools, whilst at the same time providing comfort and security for our older people who have successfully raised their own families and seen them fly the nest.

 

It’s time to work together and end the housing crisis in Wales – will you work with us to achieve this? Please spread the word, speak to your local politicians, and share your housing story on www.homesfor.wales. You can also attend our Homes for Wales rally in Cardiff on Friday 4th March – this is your opportunity to add your voice to the Homes for Wales campaign!

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Locality Solutions, Creative Quarter, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff

Royal Society of Architects in Wales, Creative Quarter, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff

Chatterbox Communications, Welsh ICE, Caerphilly

 

PRESS RELEASE

The Institute for Fiscal Studies have predicted that budget cuts will continue until 2020 resulting in local government needing to find more efficient ways to generate more value for money. In 2014/15 local government have suffered 40 percent cuts to its budget putting pressure on their finances. Meanwhile, the demand on local services have been increasing as a result of recession, the ageing population and the increasing numbers of 0-5 year olds. Furthermore, Welfare Reforms and other specialist programmes place further demands on resources, it’s no longer business as usual.

 

Throughout the nation, councils have been working and jointly investing in the necessary technology infrastructure with central government. This has seen a rise in faster broadband connections and the PSN (Public Services Network) to support the adoption of more open source cloud – based technology within the sector for better information sharing.

 

The negative effects and challenges brought about by budget cuts at a council level have trickled down to the housing sector. The housing sector is now expected to transform their businesses to meet these new challenges.

 

With the financial challenges faced by councils, business as usual is no longer an option for the housing sector. With less finances at it’s disposal, the housing sector have an obligation to ensure its customers are able to access key services in the most economic and user-friendly way. Housing also plays a vital role in ensuring adequate partnership working with other public, private and third sector for a positive citizen-focused service delivery outcome.

 

With the need for transformation to meet these challenges, it is integral that the sector as a whole start to recognise the opportunities offered by technology and digital tools with the aim of delivering more cost – efficient reliable services to citizens and customers alike.

 

There is a plethora of technology that can help the housing sector transform the way it delivers services and ensure operational efficiency to meet demands.

 

Mobile Working and the Cloud.

 

Mobile working platforms have allowed for workforces to be more productive. With the introduction of video-conferencing, route planning tools and Instant messaging on the move, it has become easier for remote workers to communicate and get the information they need for quick on the ground decision making.

 

Most modern applications are now web based and are being served on the cloud. This makes it easier for the housing workforce to access information remotely. By allowing access to vital customer information to your mobile workforce, not only does it empower the housing workforce to make timely decisions, but it improves service delivery for customers.

 

The cloud also presents an opportunity to acquire key IT Services as and when required instead of investing in a fixed infrastructure cost which is both expensive to buy and maintain. Cloud technology presents a huge opportunity for housing and local councils to showcase major cost savings.

 

Big Data.

 

With the ability to capture data more simply with easy to use web-based applications, there is now an opportunity for the housing sector to mine data for better decision making. Big data represents a huge opportunity around understanding customers’ priorities so resources can be better allocated to deliver key services.

 

Furthermore, joined-up working supported by technology allows for a more joined up data set which can enable local councils, other public and third sector organisations achieve more targeted service delivery while being cost efficient.

 

A recent study by the Policy Exchange on the Big Data Opportunity for the UK public sector concludes that overall efficiency of government operations through cutting edge operational performance could in time save the public sector up to £16 billion to £33 billion per year. The study can be found here. 

 

 

 

POLICY EXCHANGE STUDY

 

business as usual

 

 

One of Wales’ largest housing associations is tackling anti-social behaviour, hate crime and domestic violence with an unlikely weapon – smart technology!

 

RCT Homes’ anti-social behaviour case management has been transformed, thanks to mobile technology from a fresh, young company. The innovative software from Locality Solutions has led to a seamless service that has hugely improved satisfaction among customers and staff, saving more than 1,000 hours every year in admin and successfully resolving 98.4% of anti-social behaviour cases – more than any other housing organisation in Wales.

 

Download the full release

 

Faced with the challenge of combining increased mobile working with security and efficiency, RCT Homes was struggling to establish a defined process for tackling anti-social behaviour with its existing housing management system. Data was duplicated and sometimes lost, staff were unable to access key information when away from the office and security needed tightening up. But Locality’s solution has had such an impact on the way community staff respond to cases of ASB and domestic violence that RCT Homes is now looking at how best to implement the system in other key service areas of its business.

 

Cardiff-based Locality Solutions is fast establishing a reputation as the go-to provider for cloud-based solutions in areas such as case management and has recently expanded, taking on new staff and moving into a new work space in the city’s vibrant Creative Quarter. RCT Homes, which had spent several months researching strong, innovative and future proof software, liked the firm’s collaborative approach and asked Locality to build a system capable of managing its caseload whilst freeing up resources and maintaining efficiency.

 

So Locality created a tailored case management system that integrated with, rather than replaced, RCT Homes’ existing applications. Data from multiple sources was migrated to the new platform, improving communication channels and reducing administration time by 1,167 hours. Staff receive alerts about tenants who may be vulnerable to incidents of hate crime, ASB and domestic violence, enabling them to respond more quickly response and improving results to the extent that other community partners are now interested in using Locality’s technology.

 

RCT Homes acting chief executive Adrian Barber said:

“The challenge for us was finding a way of reducing our overheads and obtaining value for money whilst continuing to focus on delivery and provide a quality service to the community.

“We chose a relative newcomer on the block when we selected Locality Solutions and they have not disappointed. They had a very refreshing way of working and we liked the collaborative approach, rather than simply being offered a ‘one size fits all’ solution. From start to finish – which included a major transformation at RCT Homes – Locality have been professional and adapted quickly where required. Not only would I recommend Locality to our partners, we are already exploring adopting this innovative software elsewhere within the business.”

 

Locality Solutions founder and managing director Adrian Leen said:

“Our aim is to show that real change can be made within communities with a little forward thinking and the right technology. We now hope to create a culture of collaboration that will also benefit other housing associations and partner agencies.”

 

Additional Information on ‘Smart Technology’

 

For more information or further images, please call Rebecca Lees on 07950 060613 or email rebecca@rebeccalees.co.uk

 

Additionally, have a look at our full case study of the RCT Homes ASB Case Management Solution.

Do you think we can help you? We’d love to hear from you, just get in touch.

Last week we attended Community Housing Cymru’s Annual Conference ‘Housing Futures’ at the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff.

 

Housing Futures

High on the agenda and of particular interest to us was the memorandum of understanding between Community Housing Cymru and Public Health Wales, this memorandum is an agreement between both organisations committing to working closely together to improve the lives and health of people in the most deprived communities in Wales. The commitment will also enable the establishment of a joint Health and Housing Public Health Task Group including key representatives from health, housing, community and social care.

 

For further information into Health & Housing, access our article here.

Here is the the story of the conference, provided with thanks to Community Housing Cymru.

 

 

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