Back in September 2016 I had a telephone conversation with Hiren Patel, Data Analyst at Leicester Fire and Rescue Service about the Braunstone Blues initiative and the information sharing challenges they were facing.
This piqued our interest and shortly after myself and a colleague were making the journey to Leicester FRS HQ to meet with Hiren and some of the other members of the Braunstone Blues operational team to find out more about their work and how we might be able to support them.
Hiren explained that the Braunstone Blues is a blue light, local authority and health collaboration focussed on the area of Braunstone on the west of Leicester. This area has been identified from blue light service incident data as it places the highest demand on all three of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland emergency services.
Back in May 2015, and in response to these high levels of demand, a ‘task force’ of five staff seconded from the police, fire and ambulance services located in the community and started delivering ‘Healthy, Safe and Secure’ visits to individual households. These visits provide fires safety, healthy living and crime prevention advice along with the installation of equipment and adaptations to prevent slips, trips and falls. The task force also provides an enhanced assessment for those individuals that are identified through the Healthy, Safe and Secure visits as being particularly vulnerable. These individuals are then helped through other interventions provided by Braunstone Blues and referral on to other support services.
Braunstone Blues’ challenge is that they want to further develop and improve their information sharing so they can better target and use the resources they have available. This includes strengthening their preventative approach by getting further upstream and working with people earlier on so that people are less likely to need a blue light or other public service response in the future.
Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “This is an excellent example of how organisations working together can make sure that scarce resources can be targeted at the right people, at the right time.”
Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police & Crime Commissioner, is funding the work through to 2018 and is keen to see more data sharing between organisations. He said: “I’ve seen for myself the excellent results that Braunstone Blues is achieving and I believe that with a more accessible approach to information sharing together we can do more. This is partnership working at its best and the more partners we can bring on board the more local people will be able to benefit”.
Speaking with Braunstone Blues and its partners we developed an approach that will help them reach out to and engage with more partners; spread the word about the real improvements they are making to the lives of local people and the associated reduction of demand on local services; and use this to support the development of their approach to information sharing that will enable them to better identify and support vulnerable households and individuals.
Things all fell in to place at the end of 2016 with the opportunity for funding through the Local Government Association Local Data Experts Programme opening up and then then ascent of the new Policing and Crime Act , which since the start of 2017 places a new statutory duty on Police, Fire and Ambulance trusts in England to work collaboratively.
With Braunstone Blues successfully securing funding from the LGA to support the development of their information sharing and having the additional driver of the Police and Crime Act’s duty to collaborate behind it there are definitely exciting times ahead.
We will be working with Braunstone Blues over the next few months culminating in an information sharing workshop with key partners at the end of April. So check back after then to see the report from this and also get updates in between by signing up to our newsletter or following us on Twitter @InfoShareCoE or @braunstoneblues.