Enabling the council to respond to and support its most vulnerable residents during COVID-19
When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit the UK in 2019, it quickly became clear that a strategy for identifying the most vulnerable in the population was critical. Ten years before that, Torfaen Borough County Council had responded to the Swine Flu pandemic by devising a Vulnerable Persons Database. Little did it know then the vital role that this database would play in enabling the council to respond rapidly to the Covid pandemic and support its most vulnerable residents.
Identifying vulnerable people living within the Torfaen Borough
The council needed a watertight means of identifying, from a wide range of sources, every single vulnerable person living within its borough. This would ensure that everyone who needed support got it, fast and effectively, and that nobody would slip through the net.
Applying Idox’s Aligned Assets matching solution to match data to the Vulnerable Persons Database
Torfaen Borough County Council launched its Vulnerable Persons Database, enabling it to collate and develop a wealth of information that provides a rich depository of intelligence. Applying Idox’s Aligned Assets matching solution, the council used the Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) to match data from a wide range of sources to the Vulnerable Persons Database. This included data from social services, information on tenants over 60 years old and any adaptations required in their homes, such as handrails or stairlifts. Other layers of data included Meals on Wheels, whether residents receive home care, have oxygen bottles delivered, or go for regular dialysis.
Address data matching solution helps protect the vulnerable
As well as providing a 360-degree view of vulnerable residents, the solution helps to identify prioritisation of services, such as gritting the roads where dialysis patients live, or providing additional waste collections.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the Vulnerable Persons Database has been overlaid with shielding data from the Welsh Government. This enabled the council to identify any residents who might previously have fallen through the gaps and ensure support was offered to all who needed it, from collecting prescriptions to walking their dogs.
As Covid cases began to rise for a second time, the council was able to prepare for surge testing by overlaying school pupils’ data onto its location data. By providing a better understanding of the number of people living in a property, the council could efficiently ensure the right number of PCR tests were sent to each household.
Julia Evans, GIS Officer at Torfaen Borough County Council commented: “The Vulnerable Persons Database is pivotal to the whole council, with most departments benefitting from the depth of data available. And all this is made possible through the use of the UPRNs – they are the glue that pull all the different aspects of data together, so we can look after our vulnerable residents in the best way possible. Using the Aligned Assets matching solution makes it incredibly easy for us to match and collate this data. It’s saved huge amounts of time as well as provided a comprehensive view of those who need our support the most.”
“Increasingly, we’re seeing local authorities using our solutions to align different datasets through the UPRNs,” says Dinesh Thanigasalam, Head of Sales for Address Data Solutions, Idox. “This has been particularly prevalent in the response to the pandemic, both in terms of supporting the vulnerable as well as setting up vaccination and testing centres. Torfaen is a great example of how councils have used our solutions to drive a fast and accurate response.”
Idox acquired Aligned Assets in 2021, bringing together the pioneering Aligned Assets solution with its own built environment software to offer the most accurate and comprehensive address data solutions on the market.