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Data sharing innovators improve efficiency, Socitm finds

Public sector bodies that are innovating to share sensitive data are delivering better services and improved efficiency, according to a new briefing from the Society of IT Management (Socitm). "Information sharing: legal? effective? sensitive?" finds that imagination and innovation in sharing, applied within the law, can produce valuable results. Elimination of duplicated effort from multiple agencies, and effective coordination and alignment of resource allocation from all involved can only be achieved with everyone sharing the same 'big picture' and 'whole person' case details, the briefing finds. It provides three case studies of organisations that have found that the needs of governance and the legal framework, which are often inhibitors to sharing, are surmountable. Case study one is Melton Borough Council, which has offices co-located with a range of organisations including the local county council, NHS, voluntary groups, probation trust and Department for Work & Pensions, supported by information sharing workshops. Case study two is Havering Council which has established the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), a secure assessment and referral unit, with partners including adult social care, children's services, housing, police, NHS, the Probation Service, education and schools, and drug and alcohol services. It undertakes triage and risk assessment of vulnerable individuals, relying oneffective information sharing protocols. The third case study is South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, which hosts a patient-created 'myhealthlocker' account where patients interact with data from their own hospital and GP records - including care plan and long-term condition data - using apps and their own data entries. Effectively the patient is enabled to become a member of the clinical team, the study finds. Integration with social care records is an aspiration. The report is available free to Socitm Insight subscribers.
Pictured: The Maudsley Hospital, South London, whose parent NHS trust is hosting patient-created 'myhealthlocker' data accounts.

Green light for Tinder Foundation adult learning tech pilot

Not-for-profit Tinder Foundation has won financial support from Innovate UK - formerly the Technology Strategy Board - to remove barriers limiting wide-scale adoption of digital technology in adult and community informal learning. The pilot, which runs to April 2015, is examining technological, institutional and pedagogical factors that contribute to success in digital learning. Tinder Foundation will use its findings to develop a learning platform enabling tutors, volunteers and learners in the adult and community learning sector to create, share and manage interactive online learning content, linked to a responsive learner management system, with a future goal to realise the full potential of the findings and scaling the pilot nationally. Learners and tutors will be engaged in the creation of new content through the pilot, which the foundation says has the potential to significantly lower the barriers associated with the use of technology in learning, and to help attract new audiences, particularly people living in hard-to-reach communities. The platform will allow organisations to measure and track community learning with robust management information. "Online tools mean people can stay connected to their learning when life - things like illness, holiday or family emergencies - get in the way," said Tinder Foundation chief executive Helen Milner. "Online learning can provide a more interactive experience for learners, and tutors can reach out to peers to share resources, support one another, and spread expertise."
Tinder Foundation:

Public bodies weak on mobile security, BT study finds

Mobile devices represent a significant security risk for public sector organisations, yet many are failing to make adequate provisions to protect their data, according to a new study from BT. Mobile security breaches such as unmanaged, lost or stolen devices and malware infections have affected 68 per cent of public sector organisations in the past 12 months, the survey finds. And two-fifths of respondents' organisations that suffered a breach, experienced four or more incidents in the past year. However, only 18% of respondents felt that their organisation had sufficient resources in place to prevent a mobile security breach, the study finds. Only 35% report that their organisations has IT security training for all; and 39% of organisations do not have any kind of enforceable mobile security policy. For those that do have a policy in place, the average length of time between reviewing mobile security measures in the public sector is ten months, the study finds. The infrequency of this is cause for concern, as many IT decision makers believe that the rate of malware infections will be on the rise in the next three to five years, it says. Employee attitudes remain the biggest threat to data security, the report finds. And in the public sector, a poor attitude trickles down from the leadership, it says: some 77% of IT decision makers in the public sector do not believe their chief executive or equivalent takes security very seriously.
This research, in the financial, retail and public sectors in 11 countries and regions worldwide, was undertaken by Vanson Bourne on behalf of BT.
BT Security:

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