MHCLG Local Digital Fund Alpha Project - Registration Services Data, unlocking Local Government Opportunities ALPHA

Project details:

Organisation Worcestershire County Council
Department Digital Transformation
Collaboration Level Share Ideas
Budget £50K > £100k
Key Contact Geoff Hedges
Phase start 13 November 2019
Phase Estimated end 28 February 2020


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Background Context: Discovery Phase

Discovery Pipeline Project


The team considered in detail the use of registrations data across Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Housing, Revenues and Benefits. The approach taken by the team included holding workshops and 1-1 interviews to understand:

a. the Use Case for accessing the registrations data;

b. the current process for accessing this data;

c. the pain points within this current process; and

d. the potential benefits from accessing the registrations data through direct access to the Registrations Online (RON) data directly from the General Register Office (GRO) as opposed to relying on the Tell Us Once (TUO) service.

Cost:Benefit Analysis

The project also included an opportunity to quantify the economic and social benefits from providing Housing services with direct access to registrations data along the following domains:
a. Reduction in staff time from direct access to the data

b. Total rent arrears avoided

c. Total reduction in weeks where properties are void / reduction in Temporary Accommodation spend

The costs included:

a. Team required to develop the prototype

b. Housing Association and Council staff team required to test and implement the prototype

Conclusions to the Discovery and next steps

The Discovery phase identified that there are greatest potential benefits from accessing registrations data within housing due to the scalability of a potential solution and the impact on councils and residents.

The cost: benefit analysis determined that the proposed solution is straightforward and therefore the anticipated development and implementation costs are relatively low. The calculated benefits are modest at a district level, but significant when rolled up to a county council and unitary authority footprint.

Alpha Phase

The project has now moved into an Alpha. This phase is about testing and iterating solutions to the problem identified in the Discovery with service users.

By the end of the Alpha we aim to have tested a solution that provides Housing teams with easier access to the registrations data.

Objectives for the Alpha

1. Develop the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to enable local housing services to access registrations data;

2. Refine the cost: benefit analysis of implementing the solution to inform the business case for further roll out;

3. Trial the MVP with at least two Councils;

4. Submit an application to the GRO for the data in Suffolk;

5. Identify a standardised application for the data;

6. Report detailing the approach taken during the Alpha, findings from solution testing and options for next steps

- if a Beta phase is suggested: Application for further funding




Status Updates

07 January 2020

  • Sandra Heaney

    Update for week ending 20th December:

    Highlights :stars:

    • User testing methodology presented and discussed with housing teams in East Suffolk and Redditch and Bromsgrove. The teams are ready to begin testing
    • Housing teams have already begun using the diary study to capture experience in processing cases with deaths of tenants
    • Hackney have agreed to be involved in the project. Work to submit the GRO application and better understand similarities and differences in their death data journey will begin in January.
    Lowlights :new_moon:
    • We are still waiting on the GRO application to be approved before we can start trialling the solution
    Next Steps :black_right_pointing_double_triangle_with_vertical_bar:
    • Having a lovely break over the holidays
    • Testing the solution in the new year
    • Jointly writing a blog between WCC, SCC and SF on the benefits and reflections to date on submitting the application

12 December 2019

  • Sandra Heaney

    Update for week ending 6th December:

    Highlights :sun_with_face:
    Lowlights :sun_behind_cloud:
    • There are currently issues with loading our pipeline page but it is being looked into.
    • GRO applications still in the process of being reviewed. Sandra and Michaela have been responding to follow up questions from colleagues to get this over the line
    Next Steps :parrot_twins:
    • RA preparing plan for User Testing and will brief the registrations and housing teams next week
    • Engaging Babergh in Suffolk for user testing

12 December 2019

  • Sandra Heaney

    We had some problems with our Pipeline site, so apologies for not posting these updates earlier.

    This is the update for week ending 29th November:

    Highlights :congapartyparroy:
    • User Research completed with both registrations and housing teams in Worcestershire and Suffolk councils.
    • UR in Suffolk identified that accessing the data directly from RON has the potential to improve the overall process, not just when NOK is not known
    • Early stage interest from Hackney Council in being involved in testing MVP.
    • We identified that reports from RON can be downloaded in excel format
    Lowlights :thumbsdown::skin-tone-4:
    • Scale of cases where NOK not known is potentially smaller than initially envisaged.
    • Response from Home Office RON team informed us that post code details can’t be added to the existing RON reports
    Next Steps :crystal_ball:
    • Share UR findings with Ipswich and Babergh councils and relay housing team findings to registrations teams
    • Social Finance to consider design of MVP
    • Begin data gathering for Cost Benefit Analysis

29 November 2019

  • Sandra Heaney
    Also an opportunity for a Sticky Note photo shoot!