LARIA: we came, we saw, we learned

Within Research & Citizen Insight here at ECC we place a great deal of focus of learning. As a team, we are always looking for opportunities to learn, and one such chance comes from our membership of LARIA (Local Area Research & Intelligence Association) and attending their annual conference.

Previously on this blog we have talked about the awards we won at the conference. But what else happened at the conference and what did we learn?

The first thing that is great about this event is that you meet lots of other people who do roughly the same job as you and your colleagues, and just hearing from them about how they do things, what their experiences have been, what’s worked for them and as importantly what hasn’t worked and why, is just great.

For us there were lots of local authorities talking about great stuff they are doing such as Worcestershire and Suffolk selling us the benefits of setting up an Office for Data & Analytics, colleagues from Greater Manchester showcasing their work on Population Health Management, Walsall talking about their evaluation of a social prescribing programme, and colleagues again from Worcestershire who have used Behavioural Insights to reduce debt in Adult Social Care. Lots for us to follow up on now we are back at base.

In addition to the local government contingent there we had lots of speakers from other sectors who had some great examples of their work to share, which makes you think about how the techniques they used can be transferred across to our work.

We heard from the ONS on their census preparation, academics of their research into demand for Adult Social Care, and health colleagues on tools they are using to understand the populations that they are serving.

Personally, I took the most out of the sessions with Public Health England and LSE. PHE were demonstrating their SHAPE tool, a web enabled, evidence-based application that informs and supports the strategic planning of services and assets across a whole health economy.

We are looking forward to bringing this tool to Essex and using it to help with our JSNA, which in turn informs our commissioning decisions.

Jose-Luis Fernandez from LSE talked through his research with several local authorities to use trends in Adult Social Care to predict what demand might look like in the future. Some interesting bits for me to share with my colleagues in Social Care.

There was so much more but I feel I’m going on too long now for one blog so will probably have to do another one soon.

Participants at the LARIA conference took to Twitter to share updates throughout the day, so feel free to catch up with other people’s views using #LARIA2019:

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