In the north of the city of Nottingham, we have been working with the Rebalancing Foundation and its partners to support them in identifying cultural barriers to information sharing, and to capture and share learning as local solutions are identified and implemented.
Established in 2014, the Rebalancing Foundation is a charitable organisation that was set up to develop sustainable communities in the parliamentary constituency of Nottingham North, by helping to address inter-generational issues, such as long-term unemployment and low aspirations, health inequalities and a lack of diversity in housing stock.
Specific areas of work include; a new multi-agency partnership approach to supporting Work Programme returners; improving links between frontline neighbourhood teams and strategic safeguarding initiatives; and capturing information sharing good practice in multi-agency locality teams.
Another area of work in the north of the city of Nottingham has been the development of a new partnership programme that is focussed on bottom-up commissioning and support for long-term, unemployed residents facing barriers to learning.
Bringing together the City Council, Nottingham City Homes and the local Jobcentre Plus with other key partners at the development stage, partners have had the opportunity to not only shape the pilot, but also to embed information sharing right from the start.
Work has already taken place to identify:
- What information will be needed to support eligibility checks, needs assessments, referrals, case management, procurement and evaluation
- Who currently ‘owns’ or can access this information
- Who the information needs to be shared between
Questions about how this information will be shared still need to be explored, but partners have taken steps to consider:
- When they will talk to clients in order to gain their consent for information sharing, and how best to articulate the reasons for and benefits of sharing
- How the need for information sharing can be built into all the relevant parts of the procurement brief and specification for the delivery agent, including knowledge, experience, staff recruitment, management and support, evaluation and co-design etc.
Over the year ahead, our work with this pilot will support the partnership in exploring key information sharing challenges and opportunities, including:
- Supporting new key workers and frontline staff working in referring agencies, to create and share ownership of a consistent approach to asking clients for consent to share information
- Building on existing multi-agency approaches to case management and information sharing used in the local Troubled Families programme
- Exploring information sharing arrangements that enable the impact and success of interventions undertaken by individuals or groups of those supported, to be monitored
- Understanding the information flows and sharing required to identify, engage and evaluate a comparison group that is made up of individuals who meet the same eligibility criteria, but are not supported by the pilot.