I ran a couple of workshops today in Birmingham for Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands on broadly this topic as part of their annual conference. It was gratifying that 30 people turned up for the first hour long session but I expected a quiet second session so was surprised when another 40 pitched up.

If you’re interested in the slides they’re on our Knowledge Hub site – if you’re an iNetwork member you can just login and download them. https://knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/documents/6764120/0/IEWM+data%2C+shaping+demand+and+horizontal+integration/6300c00f-e653-4d49-8d7e-56775897b40d

I wanted it to be a workshop and share ideas, as is the iNetwork way, so having talked through our future local public services model (which people took photos of and put on Twitter – the slides are being shared you know!), I put up Barry Quirk’s 3 Challenges from his RSA Bicentenary Medal award speech last year and asked them to think about the challenges and using information better could help:

1. Design kindness into the public realm
2. Design contribution into public services
3. Design participation into democracy

This brought up a huge range of ideas, and there was quite long discussion in both session about what we mean by “kindness”. Some of this centred on “What people need” vs “what people want”. But an interesting common theme from both groups and several tables each session emerged. This was that in care servcies we need to move away from the formulaic, tickbox assessment and provision model to one that values the relationship better.

This was handy because I’d prepared several of Stuart Cowley’s excellent Wigan Deal slides on the work in Scholes. This led to discussion on the design of services – and we talked about the Design Council work in A&E – and how elections processes are so archaic thus disengaging young people. We then talked about the difficulties people have in navigating the literally hundreds of local public and community services and the challenge this poses to people with combined physical and mental disabilities.

As we had members of West Midlands Fire & Rescue in the room they nicely teed up a discussion on risk stratifcation and the work of the Chief Fire Officers Assocation with NHS and DWP which we spent some time on. We looked at open data in Trafford and touched on Tameside’s ward based insight model too.

Where did we end up?

We agreed on a few points:

  • Relationships are key to the future of care services
  • Understanding and navigating local public and community support is a huge problem for people which needs addressing
  • More soft negotiation and mediation type skills are required for successful person data sharing
  • Exploiting data in organisations needs to be someone’s job
  • There is some excellent practice emerging but it isnt widely recognised and adopted

Great session – great discussions. A big thanks to everyone who came and the IEWM for inviting me.