WODA MHCLG Local Digital Fund Discovery Project - Registration Services Data, unlocking Local Government Opportunities DISCOVERY

Project details:

Organisation Worcestershire County Council
Department Worcestershire Office of Data Analytics (Worcestershire local authority partners)
Collaboration Level Share Ideas
Budget £50K > £100k
Key Contact Neill Crump
Phase start 13 January 2019
Phase Estimated end 31 March 2019



A MHCLG Local Digital Fund sponsored discovery project: Registration Services Data - unlocking Local Government opportunities

Stage: Discovery between January to March 2019

Partners involved: Worcestershire Registration Services, Wychavon District Council, Worcester City Council, Redditch Borough Council, Bromsgrove District Council, Malvern Hills District Council, Wyre Forest District Council, Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Service, West Mercia Police, Worcestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust, Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust, Hull City Council, Suffolk County Council.

Project contact: Neill Crump

Problem Statement

The Digital Economy Act 2017 enables greater powers to share Registration Services data for birth, deaths and marriages with other local public sector partners – the common ‘problem’ is identifying for what purpose, how to share, and what are the business benefits of doing so.


The existing successful ‘Tell Us Once’ service already in existence for sharing Registration Services data with other public sector services does not have a 100% take-up, is not used in all authorities and does not cover marriages.  New additions to legislation subject to application and information governance processing, provides an opportunity to increase take-up to 100% and also include marriage data.

The discovery phase will explore the benefits of securely sharing this data to support various services such as; planning provision, safeguarding children and adults and preventing fraud.

The key objectives (to solve problems) are anticipated to be at this point:

  1. Research & testing of potential use cases with users
  2. To investigate the avoidable financial costs & savings by legally sharing registration data
  3. To understand organisational benefits to each authority and scaling nationally
  4. To recognise the impact on the public (both tax payer and residents in receipt of services)

To consider the benefits of creating common data models and standards as well as API’s to enable connection between agencies & associated services

Current Cost of the Problem

In England, there were c.880,000 births, deaths and marriages in 2017. Registration Services therefore collect large amounts of personal data. Each registration of a birth, death or marriage involves personal contact with government agencies which is more time consuming than necessary, estimating to consume more than 500,000 hours per annum of local government service time.  Once the data is captured, this valuable information is not used to the full extent that is possible legally to support other key local government requirements, e.g. notification of death to stop benefit payments.

Project Objective

To enable LAs to put in place common standards (IG and data models) around sharing, integrating, and using registration data to support services such as planning provision, safeguarding children and adults and fraud investigation. This would potentially provide significant cost savings and efficiency benefits locally and nationally, based on volumes of births, marriages and deaths in England.

Project Proposal

To identify and iterate service user needs, pain points and technical constraints around the use of Registration Data across partner organisations (e.g. between district and county authorities and with other government departments). At the end of Discovery, we aim to have identified the user needs and requirements across the three consortium LAs and be ready to move to Alpha or recommend other actions.

Benefits for Service Providers

Less time to register births, deaths and marriages – estimated at tens of thousands of pounds per authority. More benefits gained for re-using this information legally to support activities such as planning provision of local services, removing barriers by verification services, safeguarding children, fraud, and improving statistics for planning/ policy decisions.

Benefits for Residents

Less time and less complexity in processes to register births, deaths and marriages, leading to better public services


As Worcestershire has already digitalised it’s registration transactional services (and learnings can be shared with others nationally), the next maturity step is to unlock the real value of the data by enabling other services to use this data via integration. WODA has an existing working partnership within Worcestershire which includes County and District Councils, Health, Fire, and Police. We also have support from Suffolk County Council and Hull City Council.

We will collaborate on user research between project partners, sharing findings and outputs and learning via pipeline, Slack, github and Trello. We will follow up interest from our Local Digital project listing. We will explore current networks for collaboration through our partners.

We will look to use external expertise to add to our partners’ and use this external expertise to utilise their network to extend collaboration with others

User Profile

Our key user groups are a mixture of service professionals in local government organisations. We will aim to do user research with these different multi-agency groups to define the value of using registrations data to enhance services including better decision-making, lower risk of data sharing, and cashable savings and better outcomes from improved support.


Our project will begin with baseline research including a literature review and synthesis of findings from our own data and that of our project partners.

We will constantly test with users with two specific sprints of user research and an option to conduct an additional round for final iteration purposes. User research lab sessions will be used to gather input from service professionals who have/have never previously used registrations data. For example:

  • Market Research Officers and Local Planners: How to effectively plan the provision of local services & improve statistics for planning & policy decisions based on birth data predicting demand for homes and education
  • Residents & Customer Service Agents: Remove barriers by automating verification services enabling consistent data collection at fewer points of contact for public
  • Social Workers: How to proactively safeguard children and adults via instant notification of changes to the household (e.g. births, marriages and disability)
  • Fraud Investigators: How to prevent Fraud using known details of households (births, marriages, deaths)

We will test whether these and other problems relate to other places using our partner network.

User Research Objectives

  • Test understanding of how their registrations data can legally be shared
  • Understand how our service professional users may get benefit from using registrations data for service delivery
  • Deepen our understanding of service professional users, their needs, workflows and decisions
  • Better understand how to build and then improve a prototype which meets the service professional users’ needs




Status Updates

02 May 2019

  • Laura Folkers

    Update of Trello Board - completion ... next stage Alpha ....

02 May 2019

  • Laura Folkers

    Update of Trello Board - completion ... next stage Alpha ....