How one thing leads to another…

ecda struck it lucky to secure Kim Gisby, Mental Health Commissioner at Essex County Council, as the Commissioning Sponsor for its recent Mental Health Crisis project. She’s passionate and knowledgeable about her service area, has a bit of a thing for data and is open minded to the possibilities of collaboration! She’s our kind of person – good job because we’re stuck together for a little while longer!

Here’s Kim explaining how one data project led to another and a whole lot more!

We recently worked with the ecda team to combine health and adult social care data held by Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) and ECC to look at mental health crisis. Tom Aldworth, the project lead, published a blog about what we learned and his experience of the project, it’s worth a read.

I think it’s fair to say that before embarking on the mental health crisis data project my colleagues would have described me as a ‘data enthusiast’. I worked briefly in the profession eight years ago, and have been known to exclaim “ooh data, exciting”, so I was already sold on the benefits of using data to generate new insight and I was really open to what the project might be able to tell us, what anecdotal evidence, or instincts we might be able to evidence with data driven insight. But then there was a wow moment!

The insight presented client journeys to us in a way I have never seen before. We were able to understand the different experiences that young, middle and older age groups had, and the journey each group took through our varied mental health services. In this one visual was a simple and powerful message - mental health crisis doesn’t manifest itself in the same way for all age groups – and there for us all to see was the detailed evidence provided by the data analysis.

We would have never learned this, never have had the opportunity to visualise the journeys for different age groups, nor to compare them, without linking health and social care data sets from the two organisations. This insight would not have possible without ecda facilitating the partnerships and the data join between the organisations and it really has made an impact and opened some exciting new opportunities.

Partners have come together, inspired by the outcomes of the mental health crisis project, to understand what is possible by joining additional data we hold.

We’re currently scoping out a new project with ecda to understand how insight from data might inform our thinking around adopting an all age approach to mental health services and how it might enable us to support people earlier and to support the individual and their entire family network rather than just the individual.

We received a huge amount of insight from the mental health crisis project. Some of it was instantly useful and has already begun informing a transformation programme of supported accommodation. We’re in the process of mapping out mental health services against the crisis hotspots identified by the insight to identify where we might need to realign services to support specific needs in particular places. What we’ve learned about people’s needs will be invaluable in informing future delivery of community support and enabling additional access to services via primary care.

Beyond the action we’re taking from the insight the way our service works with data and analytics has also flourished. It’s no longer a transactional relationship, e.g. build us a dashboard, instead it’s an integral part of our approach, how can we generate shared insight from data to inform how we think about and shape the services we deliver for people. Joining and analysing data from across services to provide insight is now an extension of how we commission services.

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