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Within Public Sector, information sharing is paramount between services and partner agencies since service users usually interact with multiple agencies. In order to build a picture of a service user’s situation, it is critical that there is increased transparency in the information each of this service holds.

 

Family

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One of the biggest challenges faced when managing high-risk complex cases is the ability to receive timely information.

Trivallis, one of Wales largest housing associations partnered up with South Wales Police and Cardiff Council to share information on high-risk cases and vulnerable adults for the sole purpose of delivering better support to their tenants.This saw them shortlisted to win two awards this month by Resolve ASB for Best Project Award and the Community Safety Award by CIH.

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Data and System Integration enables Multi-Agency Working within public services

By working in isolation, public services and partner agencies lose sight of the wider vulnerabilities. Opportunities for early intervention can be overlooked. This is essential to deliver a proactive service for citizens and communities. Furthermore, public services and partner agencies are universally accepting that system integration for information sharing is key. It enables strategic needs assessment and targeted planning of resources.

At Locality Solutions, we work with our customers to understand the benefits of systems integration between internal and external management systems for the benefit of information sharing.

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“Information sharing and data innovation is at the heart of public sector reforms.” Professor Miriam Lips

Locality Solutions & CVUHB – Working together to create Safer Communities.

With the Well-being of Future Generations Act playing a central role on how best to improve citizen outcomes, public services are finding better ways on information sharing for a more joined-up approach in delivering a holistic service.

Our recent project with the Cardiff & Vale Health board has been a great example of how public services have identified that collaboration is key to ensure prevention and reduction of frequent attenders to the A&E.

It’s been 2 months into our project with CVUHB and the A&E Department, Heath Hospital  Cardiff, and we’ve learnt a great deal about the challenges public services and partner agencies face when working together.

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Housing associations deliver more than just bricks and mortar ! They have a unique role in ensuring more than just supplying houses. They also need to deliver an appropriate level of service for the increased health and well being of their tenants.

The role of housing associations are adapting to complement and drive the primary care strategy alongside NHS. The sector has seen first hand the impact poverty, welfare reform and public service budget cuts have affected individuals and families across the UK. With the introduction of the Futures Generation Act, housing needs to consider how best they drive the growing demand of people requiring relevant services due to tougher conditions.

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Locality Solutions has been chosen by The Cardiff and Vale University Health board (CVUHB), and approved by the Welsh Government led by Ifan Evans (Head of Healthcare Innovation, WGA), to work with it’s Emergency Unit to streamline patient care via improved communication and collaboration with our technology suite, Cluster Case Management.

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Appropriate housing can improve health and well being; but poor housing conditions has been proven to damage health, particularly in relation to asthma, damp and mould. In children, the effects can last a lifetime, the relationship between health and housing is very apparent.

 

Health and Housing

 
Risk factors include:
 
  • Indoor damp and mould problems
  • Chemicals
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Lead
  • Noise
  • Radon
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Injuries and poisonings
  • Indoor temperature
  • Indoor air quality
 
Recent surveys of homes in Wales [from Living in Wales 2004 and 2008] found that around one in 20 or 5% were ‘unfit’, mainly because of problems with poor ventilation, poor heating or damp.
 

Housing and injuries

Around a third of all injuries happen at home. This is partly because of the amount of time we spend at home, but also because of the wide range of hazards that we face in the home.
 
The stairs are the most dangerous place, accounting for more than a quarter of all home injuries, followed by the garden and kitchen.
 

Housing and asthma

Asthma is exacerbated by poor housing conditions, mainly damp and mould, and particularly for children. In some cases, poor housing has been shown to cause asthma.
 

Indoor temperature and fuel poverty

Indoor air temperature can have significant impacts on both physical and mental health; effectiveness of heating can range from around 82% in the private rental sector to 95% in owner occupied homes.
 
Implementing interventions to improve warmth and energy efficiency can improve general health, mental health and respiratory health, especially when targeted at those with inadequate warmth and those with chronic respiratory disease.
 
Warmth improvements were also associated with increased useable space, increased privacy and improved social relationships. Work and school absences due to illness were also reduced.
 
Housing condition (including damp, cold, mould, air quality, fuel use and fuel expenditure) is also generally improved by warmth improvements.
 
Warmth and energy efficiency improvements included heating installation, insulation and double glazing. There is little evidence of negative impacts of home improvement.
 
 
 
Last week we attended Community Housing Cymru’s Annual Conference ‘Housing Future’s’. During which we witnessed the agreement between Community Housing Cymru and Public Health Wales, committing the organisations to working more closely together to improve the lives and health of people in the most deprived communities in Wales.
 
 

A Memorandum of Understanding signed on 19 November 2015 will ensure that the organisations work together to identify common problems and develop joint solutions. The memorandum is a commitment to a joint focus on prevention and early intervention, to ensuring work is informed by the best national and international evidence and to taking action to empower communities to improve health and wellbeing.

 

The commitment will also enable the establishment of a joint Health and Housing Public Health Task Group including key representatives from health, housing, community and social care.

 

As a provider to the housing and health sectors, we welcome this memorandum. We were also encouraged by the presentation given by Dr Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of Public Health Wales explaining the case, commitment and passion of both sectors into collaborating to find solutions to these challenges. We have shared an earlier presentation of Dr Cooper’s ‘United in improving health in Wales’ on our media page.

 

Access the full press release, testimonials & further details on the memorandum here.

 
 
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