As we wrote about in our last blog the impact of COVID-19 will fall unequally on the most vulnerable people in society. We already know that symptoms are significantly worse for the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, however in addition to that, the necessary government sanctions will have an increasingly negative impact on a range of socioeconomic factors including increasing debt, mental health and loneliness, child abuse and domestic violence. This fall out will continue well beyond the end of the pandemic.
Local Government has a major part to play in protecting its residents, but the existing issues of insufficient resources and siloed data will only be exacerbated by current events. Authorities need to be able to rapidly identify the most vulnerable and target their support and the support of the army of volunteers towards the right households, intervening early and delivering effective, sustainable support.
The immediate requirement is to understand who needs the most support, and this is where data has an important role to play. The Operation Shield list of 1.5m people who are most at risk is useful, but only presents a partial picture and doesn’t begin to identify those at risk from the wider sanctions.
At Xantura we have already worked closely with our existing clients to provide a COVID-19 response package enabling them to identify and prioritise their vulnerable residents and households, based on clinical needs as well as those who need immediate support from the current sanctions and economic impacts that will follow.
This is delivering immediate value in terms of how they use their resources to deliver the most impact now and this benefit will extend well beyond the end of the immediate crisis. It also means that frontline staff can focus on using their skills and expertise to work with these households on appropriate solutions and interventions rather than drowning in admin and systems.
Adults Social Care, Children’s Social Care, Debt Advisory and Homelessness teams are dedicated and professional teams of people who do an outstanding job of supporting households who need it, but they need help identifying where to channel their skills, and that is where we can provide rapid support.
During these unprecedented times we all need to work together to limit the impact of the virus. Ethical and proportionate data usage can play a large part in channelling help to where it is most of need.
Tom Davies – Commercial Director