Welsh councils, police and NHS share data to identify vulnerable people

Five Welsh public bodies say they identified and supported more vulnerable citizens faster during a data sharing and matching trial.

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Five public bodies in Wales have successfully piloted a data sharing and analysis scheme to identify vulnerable citizens.

Councils, police and NHS agencies shared the data they each hold on individuals, allowing them to create a clearer and more detailed picture of each individual and their needs.

As a result they were able to provide better support much faster and intervene earlier to help vulnerable citizens, according to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, which is leading the project.

The organisations used data matching software and services from UK SME Infoshare, supplied by IT services firm Atos.

They set up a dedicated analytics and information management team tasked with matching and pulling together data on individuals from various different sources, anonymising it where necessary and analysing it to identify ‘at risk’ citizens.

Blaenau Gwent said the trial delivered a workable framework for data sharing. The authority is currently considering options to involve more agencies in the initiative and make it permanent.

Torfaen County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Gwent Police also participated in the pilot.

“We are a huge step closer to delivering early intervention and better targeted local services to our most vulnerable citizens. Improved intelligence can help us to be more proactive in the way we deliver services to individuals,” Blaenau Gwent’s strategic transformation manager Dean Thomas said.

“By intervening sooner we can potentially decrease the likelihood of someone becoming vulnerable. So working to get better intelligence is extremely valuable for quality of life but also for managing resources effectively,” he added.

In England and Wales, NHS accident and emergency departments will be obliged to collect and share data on attendances involving violent crime with the police, local authorities, fire and rescue authorities, the probation service and health workers, to help them target violent crime hotspots, according to new rules recently introduced by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Image credit: ©iStock/EdStock

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