In partnership with the Public Services Transformation Network and New Economy, we have been working with Blackpool to identify information sharing issues within its Transience Programme, which piloted in the South Beach area of Blackpool.

Blackpool has a significant transient population, with approximately 8,000 people moving into and away from the area annually. This equates to over 5% of the population. In response, Blackpool’s coastal resort legacy has led to the conversion of a substantial number of small guesthouses into flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMO), particularly in the South Beach area of the town. These offer substandard accommodation but have become a housing choice of last resort for people with limited options.

The dominance of these HMOs has led to intense concentrations of deprivation, and an environment that fosters poor health, crime, welfare dependence and lack of opportunity. This in turn has led local service providers to commit significant, multi-agency resources in response to acute health, social care, educational and employment needs, as well as to dealing with the resulting crime and anti-social behaviour.

Blackpool’s Transience Programme aligns the implementation of selective licensing with a person-centred programme made up of a multi-disciplinary team of support workers, housing standards staff, police and the fire service that support vulnerable people into healthy, sustainable lifestyles, alongside developing resilient neighbourhoods that foster personal responsibility and reduce dependence on public services.

In practice, following the additional and selective licensing consultation process, a Housing Enforcement Officer and Transience Team Officer will visit a property. Once inside, the Housing Enforcement Officer concentrates on assessing checks aligned with the Housing Act 2004 while the Transience Officer chats to residents and, using observational and emotional skills, assesses and offers appropriate support aligned with their individual needs.

By working collaboratively across services, it is possible to address issues more comprehensively to secure better outcomes for people. To ensure the success of this approach, effective information sharing between agencies is critical.

The Transience Programme has been piloted in the South Beach area of inner Blackpool. Its impact is still being measured but has already shown positive outcomes in relation to:

  • reduced house fires
  • reduced crime and anti-social behaviour
  • more people accessing preventative services improvements in health and well-being
  • more people improving learning and skills and moving closer to employment

Following a successful bid for a Transformation Challenge Award, it is proposed that this approach is rolled out to other areas of inner Blackpool.

As part of our work with Blackpool, we hosted an initial workshop in March 2015 to identify information sharing issues between the Transience Programme partners.

You can read more about the learning from this workshop here.

Further to this, through our previous work with Melton Borough Council, as well as our relationships with the Department of Health and Information Governance Alliance (IGA), we are pursuing opportunities to share views, gain support and learn from experiences across local places.

Decent housing makes a fundamental difference to mental and physical health and wellbeing and has a critical contribution to make to the value and effectiveness of the health and care system.

The conference will also be of interest to clinicians, academics, public health and housing charities, and all those interested in health and housing.

The Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing will  be taking part in the Living Well and Working Well sessions with Blackpool Council – discussing the Blackpool Transience Programme

A programme which aligns and coordinates the implementation of Selective Licensing inspections of private rented properties with a person-centred programme that supports and refers vulnerable tenants into healthy, sustainable lifestyles, and reduces dependence on public sector services.

The presentations from the day are available here and also the Memorandum of Understanding to support action on improving health through the home