What will it be like to work in the Centre of Excellence?

Blogpost from Stephen Curtis, Director of the Centre of Excellence

Now that we are formally live, the Centre of Excellence enters a very exciting phase. Over the coming weeks we will be starting our recruitment campaign: a crucial stage in the development of the Centre. The staff will have a number of vital roles. Firstly, they will support local areas in their information sharing work. Central to this is understanding how services are being transformed locally, and the role information plays in helping to deliver this transformation and provide better services for people.

Secondly, the staff will need to help to identify the barriers to Information sharing. Many people think these are primarily legal or technical, and there is no doubt that there are legal and technical issues. However, local areas will often have people who understand the legal and technical issues, so the staff of the Centre of Excellence will play a crucial role in helping to unpick other barriers.

  • Is it clear what information needs to be shared?
  • Have the services defined why the information or data needs to be shared?
  • Do they know what they are going to do with it?
  • How will it help the service user?
  • Has anyone spent time working on these questions?!

Working through these sorts of questions will help the local area unpick the underlying issues with information sharing. It will also help tease out whether there are any national issues that need to be tackled. Are there real legislative barriers? Does there need to be reassurance given about information sharing through communication? The evidence of what is happening ‘on the ground’ will help us to influence what happens at the national level.

hands planting seedling
Getting our hands dirty. Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography (flickr Creative Commons)

So the roles are very hands on. We’ll be ‘getting our hands dirty’ with the nitty gritty of what’s happening on in localities. And crucially, writing up, sharing and disseminating what we are learning. We’ll have support for all this – from Government Departments who are engaged in our Steering Group, and from academics who have formed an advisory panel to work with the Centre. Over the coming weeks, you’ll be seeing a lot more about our recruitment. You’ll already have picked up that they are challenging roles. But we believe they will be fulfilling. We want to ensure that people are put at the heart of service transformation, and information sharing is central to making that happen.