Information sharing – a vital ingredient in improving health outcomes for troubled families (and pancakes)

Imogen Heywood,
Engagement Manager,
Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing

I’m writing this blog thinking about recipes and families, and the key role that information sharing plays in making both a success.

A strange combination perhaps, but one inspired by my recent Pancake Day success (more of that later), and the start of two new areas of work for the Centre of Excellence around supporting children and families through information sharing.

One of these new work areas will see the Centre working with the national Troubled Families team (based in the Department for Communities and Local Government – DCLG) and the Department of Health to look at how sharing health data can help improve outcomes for families and children.

Over the next few months we’ll be working with three local places to find out how they’re sharing health data to help identify and support families with multiple, complex problems in their area. We’ll use a series of blogs and case studies published on the Centre’s website to share this learning with you.

Information sharing has been at the heart of the Troubled Families programme from the start, providing the intelligence local programmes need to identify families and understand their progress. Throughout this time, the local places we are working with have been developing new arrangements to share a range of health data, and to use this to improve the support provided to local families.

Along with experts from the Department of Health, we’ll also be supporting these places to understand any further barriers to sharing health data that remain and to develop local solutions. Common barriers and factors for success across all local places will then be drawn out in a final report jointly published by the Centre, DCLG and Department of Health later on this year.

So what of my pancakes?  Well by sharing my previous pancake disasters with my family I was able to gather a great set of tips and information on the perfect batter recipe, all of which goes to show that sharing information can not only help support great family relationships but also great pancakes!

To keep up to date with our work, you can sign up for our email newsletter. You can also read my colleague Jovian’s blog which looks at our other new area of work – information sharing to protect vulnerable families and children – which we’re delivering with the Department for Education.

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