“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.

Public Service Challenges – Our Findings

Our learnings started with a great workshop session a few weeks ago with a range of representatives from South Wales Police, Mental Health, Ambulance Services, A&E staff, Homelessness and other supporting charities to understand the frequent attender user journey. Throughout our workshop session we mapped out the processes, challenges and tools used by each agency to piece together information on a single individual for a multi-agency panel meeting to discuss and refer them to the right services.

Frequent attenders are those individuals that attend the A&E department more times a month than usual or needed. More often than not, these individuals simply need to be referred to the right services so they get the support that is right for them. In order for this to happen, a range of partner agencies armed with all the information are required to work together to determine the best course of action. In turn, citizens get the appropriate care and support, and A&E resources are freed up to deal with emergencies !

It sounds so simple, yet this has been a difficult feat for years. Reasons for this range from traditional silo-ed systems that don’t link to each other, the complexities of getting people together quick enough to discuss cases, understanding the root-cause issues of each individual and the list goes on.

Lack of Information Sharing – biggest challenge for getting individuals the care and support they need!

We found through open discussions with agencies that Information Sharing was one of the biggest challenges for getting individuals the care and support they needed!

When asked why public services and partner agencies found information sharing challenging, the lack of understanding of their internal security policies and the Data Protection Act was seen to be biggest barrier. The second biggest barrier were silo-ed systems that didn’t link up between services which meant information sharing was impossible. Furthermore the reluctance of suppliers to integrate applications was seen as a barrier for partner agencies and public services to achieve their goals of simply working better together.

Our next blog will discuss the challenges of  System Integration and why this is key to enabling a more joined-up public services for safer healthier communities. We will be posting our learnings and findings over the coming months on our journey, our shared experience and our challenges.

‘When public services are armed with the right information about a frequent attender, they are better able to address their needs and resolve issues quicker.’ Anna Sussex, Frequent Attender Case Manager

We’re looking forward to working with Anna Sussex and partner agencies across the Frequent Attender user journey over the next 9 months to get through some of these information sharing barriers to reduce NHS A&E costs and create safer communities. For more information visit www.wedfan.org

For more information on the project – Locality Solutions & CVUHB Partnership : Click Here

Locality Solutions, in partnership with Cardiff & Vale Health board, are working on a model and technology platform for multi-agency case management and information sharing to reduce the Frequent Attenders to A&E. Supported by the Welsh Government.