When Covid-19 hit the UK at the start of the year, xantura and Thurrock Council quickly collaborated to build on their existing relationship and develop a Covid-19 response service.  This enabled Thurrock to rapidly identify residents who were vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic and the surrounding sanctions and deliver a proactive and targeted outreach campaign to support them.

When the contact and trace responsibilities were devolved to local authorities in August, Thurrock Council realised that in order to deliver the most effective response, they would need to rapidly put in place an infrastructure that could incorporate the flow of central government information and allow it to be managed at a local level.

Working in partnership, Thurrock and xantura created a new contact and trace service that enables them to efficiently and accurately fulfil their contact and trace responsibilities leveraging both national and local information and assets.  This service was operationally launched at the end of September.

What problem did we solve?

Councils have been asked to take over contact and trace responsibilities at a local level with very little time and limited additional resources.  Whilst management at a local level is welcomed by most local authorities, the effective implementation of this service has many challenges.

Most local authorities are currently managing this through the use of shared spreadsheets combining CTAS downloads and locally gathered information.  This presents many problems in terms of data accuracy, data security and the ability to analyse the information effectively to spot super spreaders, problem settings and hyper-localised outbreaks.

The creation of the xantura contact and trace solution was designed to resolve all of these issues and enable Thurrock to realise the benefits of their local knowledge, experience and assets to effectively manage their responsibilities.

How did we do it?

Using the xantura OneView infrastructure and unique approach to information governance as the base, we were able to rapidly develop a bespoke contact and trace service in partnership with Thurrock.

The service enables Thurrock to integrate the centrally provided PHE and CTAS data extracts with existing local data and newly collected information into one platform.

The service then has three interfaces for contact & trace, settings and surveillance teams.  This enables contact and trace teams to build a picture of contact groups and locations in one place, as well as embedding a series of rules to highlight accelerating hyper-local hotspots and potential asymptomatic super spreaders to enable targeted local responses.

What was the outcome?

The service has only been live for a short time, but already the benefits are starting to be seen across the council.

The initial service ensured that council support and volunteer services could be effectively used to target help and support to those individuals who were most vulnerable and most at risk.  This has been vital in delivering early help and limiting the build up of higher cost, later interventions and support for residents.

The new contact and trace solution will be vital in gaining deeper insight into the situation at a local level over the coming months and ensuring the council can delivered a joined-up response with all the relevant information securely held and at their fingertips.

“Being able to effectively manage multiple data views is vital for local authorities in managing Covid-19 at a local level.  Our ability to operationally launch our contact & trace solution with xantura in such a short period of time enables us to deliver a targeted and proactive approach to local management across households, settings and communities giving us the best chance of managing outbreaks as and when they occur.”

Emma Sandford, Strategic Lead – Healthcare Public Health, Thurrock Council