Public Sector Roundup: Tech cuts crime, waits and fat

Police save 9.7 million with information management

North Yorkshire Police


Atos Origin

Efficiency gains using the software will save some 9.7 million over five years, the police force said. All existing data will be moved to a new, centralised corporate data warehouse.

Superintendent Lewis Raw, of NYP and project director for the management and information project, said: "[Atos Origin and SAS] put forward a strong team which combined skilled consultants with specific police systems experience using best-of breed software for both our immediate and future Information Management needs. We were able to re-use routines and mappings they had developed for South Wales Police as well, which provided cost and timescale advantages."

The force also hopes to eventually use the software to improve predictive analysis and help increase its ability to solve crimes.

"National programmes such as IMPACT and MOPI have emphasised the importance of accurate information for intelligence-led policing and the need for operational systems to share information that too often resides in a number of independent "silo" systems," said Anne Ware, head of public sector business at Atos Origin.

NHS trust cuts waiting and treatment times with networking


The Community of Interest Network (COIN) links 160 surgeries and other health centres back into a centralised data centre, letting doctors access records in real-time, helping to reduce waiting times from weeks to days.

"Being able to access records of drugs and treatment not just from a GP, but any health centre or hospital, and have that information available wherever it's needed instantly is a huge asset to improving healthcare," said Dr James Heath, managing director of Aston Healthcare, which has a network of 10 GP surgeries caring for 33,500 patients in Knowsley.

Text messages to fight obesity

The trial at the Bush Doctors Surgery saw response rates of 29 per cent. "Text messaging has been a massive help, enabling us to gather a patient's weight quickly in order to calculate their BMI. Of course we weigh people at the surgery, but this method allows us to quickly and very cost effectively update the records of people who may not need our services very often," said the surgery's practice manager, Mandy Norton. "With mobile being the communication method of choice for our very varied patient base and with obesity levels being where they are, we feel that this is a perfect complement to our current service."

The system is run using iPlato's software, which the trust also uses to manage appointments.