Mole Valley District Council believed that if NHS shielding datasets were linked to UPRNs their identification of, and support offered to clinically extremely vulnerable residents (CEVs) in the district would be improved.
At the onset of the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, UPRNs were not part of NHS datasets. Mole Valley District Council believed that if NHS shielding datasets were linked to UPRNs their identification of, and support offered to clinically extremely vulnerable residents (CEVs) in the district would be improved.
Mole Valley District Council, alongside other local authorities including Surrey County Council, lobbied central government for UPRNs to be included in NHS datasets. The lobbying was successful and council officers are now able to crossmatch the UPRNs from the NHS dataset with their own vulnerable people record.
An automation system is used to achieve the linking up of the datasets. Using automation allows data to be easily collected and linked to other datasets. The data can also be translated into HTML or webpage format. In these instances, a graph or report can be generated which is meaningful to staff who lack technical expertise.
The joining up of datasets enabled Mole Valley to identify whether they were already supporting those in need or whether there were CEV residents whom they had not yet identified. Council officers also used this information to undertake location analysis which enabled them to determine the proximity between CEV residents’ homes with community groups and services. This work enabled the council to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable residents in the locality through ensuring they were both identified and given the most appropriate support.
Challenges and lessons learnt
The main challenges and subsequent lessons learned were:
- Capacity – Officers have been experiencing increased workloads due to additional COVID-19 pressures so managing capacity has proved difficult at times. Prioritisation helps overcome this.
- Understanding of UPRNs – The role of UPRNs was, and still is not, widely understood among the broader workforce and this has sometimes resulted in missed opportunities to join up data between departments. The organisation is still trying to raise awareness of the importance of UPRNs among all members of staff.
The new GIS analyst role at Mole Valley District Council provides extra capacity and an opportunity for new work streams in this area to develop. The Council plans to continue to promote the use of UPRNs and embed them in everyday practice within the organisation through making it mandatory for staff to share URPNs within datasets.
Sameer Abdool – Application Support Specialist within the Business Improvement Team Sameer.Abdool@molevalley.gov.uk