Three – it’s a magic number

Charlotte PiperCharlotte Piper, Assistant Director
Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing

I like the number 3. It’s a friendly sort of number. For a start, I can keep 3 things in my head before I need to reach for pen and paper! So it helps that there happen to be 3 main reasons why local places want to share information:

  • To design and commission services that meet people’s needs
  • To deliver services in a joined-up way
  • To evaluate whether services are successful

We worked with 3 local places this week – Swindon, Bath & North East Somerset and Surrey – learning more about their information sharing work and how the Centre could support them. Their information sharing work covers all 3 of the reasons above, and a variety of service transformation areas.

In Swindon, the council and its partners are trying to work out if there is an overlap between the service users who regularly receive a service from across the public sector. In Bath & North East Somerset, they’re looking at how to build the infrastructure which can support them to use data to safeguard children, and improve the health of residents. And in Surrey, they want to know how information can help design and deliver an integrated service to prevent and respond to a mental health crisis.

I was also in Manchester this week, hearing about the importance of gathering evidence about the positive impact of service transformation, with a selection of local places, including Carolyn Downs of the Local Government Association, Helen Edwards of the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Public Service Transformation Network.

The Centre is well placed in terms of its approach to evidence gathering; we have expert evaluation input from our Academic Advisory Panel, and our model of support to local places includes base-lining the situation, and documenting what works as well as the lessons learned along the way.

As much as I like the number 3, I like bigger numbers too. There are 3 of us in the Centre at the moment, but soon there will be more. I am excited at the prospect of a bigger team and the opportunity to support more local places. These are truly exciting times to be involved in creating lasting change.