So I’ve got a new job. ‘What is it?’ I hear you say. Engagement Manager at the Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing. ‘Well that sounds grand!’
Often the conversation ends there, but sometimes a few brave souls go on to ask me, ‘So what does that mean? What do you actually do?’ Now that I’m three weeks into the role, I’ve even got people from the local places I’m working with asking me the same questions.
Fortunately, it’s not as difficult to answer as I first imagined it to be. Basically, we’re a bit like consultants (but without the fees!). We work with local places to support their plans for improving and changing services. We do this by helping them identify and find solutions to information sharing problems where culture is at the heart.
‘But what does that actually mean?’ I hear you say…
It can take a number of different forms, but a lot of it is about talking to people, reflecting back on what they’ve said to us, and helping them re-examine issues in a new light.
‘But, what do you actually deliver for the local places you support?’
Our offer, what we deliver, will ultimately depend on what the local place needs. This can range from being the critical friend to a local transformation project team, to running workshops with agencies that are working in the same geographical area or with the same clients. We also use real life examples from individual local places and across the country to help influence national government policy.
The power of users’ real life stories is something which, as an organisation, we will be highlighting in our What’s the Info Story? campaign during Better Services Month in November.
On a more local level, I’m working with the Rebalancing Project team in Nottingham to look at how these types of user stories can help them:
- Create a baseline from which they can monitor the impact of their ambitious project.
- Demonstrate the real issues faced by, and the real impact their work can have on, the people in the Outer Estates of Nottingham North.
- Identify areas where, supported by shared information, agencies, council teams, and community organisations can work together in Nottingham North to:
- Improve the uptake of existing services by local residents;
- Redesign the way services are delivered to streamline and un-complicate the journey for service users;
- Ultimately, improve outcomes for local people.
Its early days in Nottingham North and I’m just starting to realise how effective these small steps can be in delivering real change for people and partnerships in the long term.
So, in the words of Prince Charming himself, it’s time for me to Stand (up for Nottingham North) and Deliver!
Imogen Fuller, Engagement Manager
Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing