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Greater Manchester harnesses Data Mesh for social care

12/05/22
Data mesh abstract
Image source: istock.com/montsitj

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is working on using its GM Data Mesh to support the integration of health and social care in the city-region.

Its lead enterprise architect, Jon Burt, outlined the work in a presentation to the UKAuthority Integrating Digital Health and Care conference yesterday, saying the mesh will work alongside the GM Digital Platform.

“It’s not a single data warehouse but turning data into a service within organisations,” he said

He said the Data Mesh works on a distributed basis to support data sharing between organisations and includes three elements: a data catalogue, metadata and a data flow and read function.

“It works on hub and spoke architecture, so we have the hub in the centre that pushes out the standard data catalogue so everyone uses same language,” he said . “Then we distribute metadata that has been shared, so we can have a single source with role based access around it for data available to practitioners.

“For data sharing we’re trying to expose it without going through the hub; it stays in situ with each organisation, so minimises the data flowing around system.”

Data standards

The catalogue ties the data to standards such as SNOMED for clinical terminology, FHIR for the interoperability of healthcare data and SAVVI for vulnerability data.

It all provides a service for organisations to access master data that is only entered once at the original source, and which also enables identity matching to help target support for individuals.

Burt said GMCA is working with local authorities on use cases for the mesh within the Supported Families programme, which provides support on issues such as safeguarding, school attendance, family finance, domestic abuse, crime and healthcare. These involve exposing data from their sources to relevant officials in other organisations using role based access.

There are also plans to obtain data from Manchester Police and on mental health from the city-region’s integrated care system to strengthen the Supported Families programme, as well as to make data available for analytics and to develop an app for practitioners to query data from other organisations.

Burt also outlined the role of the GM Digital Platform in supporting the Early Years solution, which was developed for digital assessments of young children’s development. This has now been connected to some national systems such as the NHS NEMS events management service and the NHS Spine.

Work is currently taking place on connections to electronic patient records, within the EMIS, TTP and AllScripts platforms.

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