Enabling trusted data to be shared in a smart and secure way.

As an infrastructure charity in Dorset, we have always held data and information about our members and use this information to publish a directory of services, historically on paper. CAN has a duty to hold, maintain and share this information and will continue to do this in a digital format.

Over the last year, CAN’s services within the community have grown significantly and several of our newer projects require easy access to this information. We have therefore been updating and reviewing our digital systems, which includes the introduction of an online ‘Service Finder’.

Alongside our systems review, we have had conversations with our partners NHS Dorset about the importance of accurate and well-maintained data that is easily accessible and safely shared across the wider Integrated Care System. NHS Dorset offered to invest in CAN, to explore how data sharing with a system wide data standard would benefit all system partners and the community ensuring a ‘no wrong door approach’.

When reviewing our internal system needs, we considered how CAN could publish and describe data more consistently, enabling staff to easily find and share information about local community services. Open Referral UK was one potential solution, initially discussed during our conversations with the VCS, NHS and Local Authorities.

How will we achieve this using Open Referral UK standards?

Since February 2022 Open Referral UK has been an internationally recognised standard and its use is recommended for all UK public systems in NHS, Local Government and Department of Education. It establishes a consistent way of publishing and describing information so it will be easy to find and share community information in a personalised way.

We are working collaboratively with partners so that databases across the Integrated Care System, such as CAN’s Service Finder can be connected to each other through Open Referral UK, therefore enabling data to be shared in a smarter way.

Ultimately, we hope this will enable frontline workers and local communities to be able to access timely and accurate information within a digital space, whenever the need arises.

What’s next?

The idea is that the data is not owned by us, it’s everyone’s information to share, we are only the instigators and facilitators. Current directories are encouraged to join the conversation.

We want to work collaboratively with organisations to enable databases across the system to be connected to each other through Open Referral UK, therefore enabling trusted data to be shared in a smart and secure way, benefiting the sector, but most importantly our local communities as end users.

If you would like to join our working group please get in touch with our Digital Systems Project Manager, Kelly Hewitt at kelly.hewitt@can100.org

CONNECTING Communities