COVID-19 has, in one way or another, affected the majority of the population. In late 2020, Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) was awarded a grant as part of the Local Digital COVID-19 Challenge, a programme designed to help fund new and existing digital, data and technology (DDaT) work that responds to pressing needs and challenges faced by local government as a direct result of the pandemic.
HDC’s project, known by its acronym SENA (Societal Early Need Application), is an ongoing project now in its second phase. The District Council saw a need to try and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its residents without creating dependency on the already stretched resources within the public sector. The desire was to make early small interventions to households to help prevent the need for larger costlier interventions later. The project aims to achieve this by validating the existing “life event risk scoring” model to help pinpoint households at risk in the future and developing a set of earlier interventions from small behavioural nudges to integrate multi-agency working to help support the needs of the household. To support this and future efforts the project is helping to support the creation of data standards in this area to enable a cohesive response across the public sector.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s funding of up to £800,000, is aimed at supporting digital, data and technology (DDaT) projects that look to combat the challenges faced by local government as a direct result of COVID. The grants are for new and existing work that responds to the pressing needs of the pandemic for projects that deliver a tangible output in two months, with results that can be used by other councils.
With this in mind, the audience for this comms plan will be those government and council officers who potentially need to create a roadmap out of a critical situation affecting potentially the population as a whole. It will be those who oversee Societal need management and Population health management on a strategic level with the aim of gaining enough leads to give a single good contact who has the potential, or who is interested, in partnering the project.
Current partners and collaborators include Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire, and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, GMCA – Greater Manchester Combined Authority, MRC – Medical Research Council, Nesta, NIHR – National Institute for Health Research, Peterborough City Council, Place cube, South Cambridgeshire District Council, University of Cambridge, Unboxed.
Phase 2 will be delivered in a staged project with 3-week sprints that will cover detailed user research and service design streams that have interfaces with SAVVI deliverables, over a total of 16 weeks. Whilst suppliers are currently engaged there is a 6–8-week lead time before the project can start due to already committed work.