Bristol City Council

Bristol City Council

Place-based Services Open Data


Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives

National and regional social prescribing and self-care initiatives are encouraging people to take up non-clinical services to improve residents’ health & well-being and to prevent, reduce, delay the need for more expensive longer-term care and support. It is imperative, for these initiatives to succeed, that they have reliable local service data.

Organisations typically collect community service information within their own silos and using their own formats which makes it difficult to aggregate and re-use the data. This inevitably wastes time and money but it also means that the data is unreliable.
This project has been about co-developing a new piece of software around a new data standard and bringing all sectors/organisations/departments to a place-based approach to collect, maintain, tag and assure the data once then make the data open and available for many frontend applications to make use of. This saves the tax payer’s purse and delivers a fundamental digital building block that enables the prevention agenda to improve people’s lives.

It is expected to save money, improve productivity and quality of services; and provide more strategic information of supply and demand for community support services.

What are the key achievements?

Key achievements to date:

• Co-developed a new piece of software using an agile development approach.

• Incorporated an open data standard into the co-developed software.

• Developed a migration routine from their existing service directory to convert the data.

• Refined the initial LGA service schema through applying it to the coal face.

• Refined the LGA service-type to need & circumstance model.

• Have mapped all their existing services to the LGA service-type.

• Have convinced a number of frontline organisations to join their place-based approach i.e. CCG, MiDoS, Housing, Rethink, WellAwar.

• Have developed a new website that consumes the open data to make it available to front-line workers and citizens.

What are the key learning points?

• Place-based projects are the best way for the public sector to work for efficiency and effectiveness but it is a new culture and needs a driving force to facilitate action otherwise organisations lapse into business as usual.

• Co-development works but can be time consuming. Key members need to be available as and when required for daily stand-ups, show and tell and in supporting user interface designs.

• More time should be spent on ensuring the development team understand the context so that they are adding value as they develop routine interfaces.

• Any change required can not be forced through. A transition plan that is pragmatic and builds on existing momentum for change will move people/organisations over a period of time without disturbing their current operational demands.

• Time can be wasted trying to convince people/organisations to change. Focus on those who are interested and keen and identify things with existing momentum that can be built on to transition to a new way of working.

Additional Comments:

• This project is an example of the benefits of inter-working at a place level and would be useful for Chief executives to understand the potential of open data standards.