Data proves its life-changing and life-saving qualities

By Graham McCusker, Director, Sentinel Partners

One of the things we’ve all realised the value of during the Covid-19 pandemic is data.

Keeping us informed and improving our understanding, it isn’t hard to see how it has helped to save thousands of lives.

For local authorities, data has proved a vital tool and has been key to their successful response to the call for support from Public Health England.

Among the unsung heroes of the pandemic, council teams have been key to identifying and supporting vulnerable residents, including those who have been required to shield.

They’ve also been involved in Test and Trace, helping to find those who have needed to self-isolate in order to stop the virus spreading.

Providing the most effective support have been those local authorities with ready access to reliable data and the ability to quickly combine and “crunch” new datasets. Those relying on manual processing have been left behind.

One success story has been in Liverpool, where the city council has been using Sentinel’s Data Platform software to identify those families experiencing complex and multiple difficulties.

Turning over 40 separate council and partner data feeds into accurate, single view records, the Data Platform has highlighted those in greatest need, enabling teams to focus on improving outcomes through prevention and early intervention.

At the outset of the Covid crisis, Liverpool quickly recognised how the Platform could help and its scope was extended to include health-related information from more than 12 new sources, including nine direct from the NHS.

Working with Sentinel’s team, they set up new data-matching rules and new Single View screens, including filterable views relating to Covid susceptibility as well as the ability to extract relevant information to feed back to key health partners.

The depth of understanding this has provided has enabled the council and its partners to continually direct resources to where they have been needed most.

They’ve been able to identify the most vulnerable from health and socio-economic perspectives, and respond accordingly, for example by distributing food and prescriptions, or providing social care support.

The Platforms technology has also been successful in supporting the city’s Test and Trace efforts that have helped to reduce the spread of the virus.

This was achieved in less than a week, by bringing together NHS data and information from Council Tax records to form a single dataset for the Test and Trace team to access.

Access to up-to-date, accurate data can be transformational in many different ways. If you’d like to join Liverpool and other local authorities in benefiting from a robust and versatile data platform do get in touch.

A further £165m in the 2020 Spending Review to extend the Troubled Families programme in 2021/22 provides an ideal opportunity to get started and receive funding to support those residents who need it most. Funding may also be available through the £7 billion that has been allocated by the Government to enable local authorities respond to the Covid crisis.

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