Empowering Emergency Services with Digital Transformation
Emergency Services in the UK consist of three organisations: police, fire, and emergency medical services. The police and fire services are overseen by the Home Office, whilst the medical services are under the control of the Department of Health and Social Care.
The purpose of these services is to provide emergency relief to people across the UK (within each service jurisdiction).
Responsiv has experience working with various Emergency Service providers in the UK, with a focus on the Fire and Rescue Services (i.e., we know it’s not a fire engine).
Legacy Systems and unsupported software
The Police National Computer, on which they rely on daily for critical information about criminal records, stolen vehicles and drivers’ licences, is currently forty-eight years old.
Accessing, integrating, and supporting these legacy systems is crucial, yet likely to become challenging due to the loss of skills for maintaining the hardware and software on which the systems are running.
Legacy systems can be maintained, or they can be updated. Finding the skills to do so in both cases may be difficult, but is critical to keep the services going.
Legacy systems also pose a cyber security threat if left unsupported or out of date. This means the service, and any other services connected to it, are at risk of hacking. Resident and staff data is jeopardised as well as system downtime, making the service unable to fulfil their role in aiding residents.
Legacy systems pose a variety of risks for organisations. These risks include creating vulnerabilities to cyber threats, and not having in-house skills or the ability to access third-party skills to support the software. This means organisations are in danger of system failure or downtime with no skilled resources to remediate the issue. If core services are running on these legacy systems this can be catastrophic.
Whilst these legacy systems have served their purpose, it may be time to upgrade. Up to date software mitigates the risk of running out of support and end of life applications that leave your IT landscape vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Up to date software will also have a higher capacity of skills available, making it easier to find the resources to support the software, whether that be in-house or outsourced.
Should your legacy system be running fine with full support you may not want to upgrade the whole system, rather give your screens a facelift. This can be done by wrapping the system with Responsiv Cloud Automation Platform (RCAP), using RPA to drive screens and present information, and APIs to integrate data. New screens can be designed and linked so users get an updated experience.
Doing this can also be the start of easing functionality away from the legacy system to remove dependencies.
Responsiv Consulting has experience upgrading customers to modern software, with skills to complete system, workload, and application migrations as well as skills to support the software following project completion.
Responsiv Cloud Automation Platform (RCAP) can be used to provide the ‘wrap’ solution to maintain use of legacy systems; giving users a new look and feel of screens, and an eased experience in line with modern best practices.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) report that the crises isn’t one of a labour shortage, with vacancies being well shared and oversubscribed, rather a skills shortage resulting from a lack of provision, lack of incentive to upskill or retrain, or an unclear qualification picture.
National skills shortages are affecting all organisations, with police seeing a gap of 7,000 detectives and in specialist roles including those to investigate cyber and economic crimes.
The GMCA also report that “new digital ways of working can improve clinical outcomes, crime response, resident safety, the user experience of both patients and staff, and staff engagement more broadly. Digital transformation, and the more effective use of data, also underpins the integration agenda and crossorganisational working which is desired in GM.”
This skills shortage may see the rise of greater service collaboration to supplement gaps, think of it as a kind of outsourcing, the GMCA stating that “future police workforce may become increasingly involved with other public agencies—health and mental health services, for instance.”
Automating data heavy and repetitive tasks means existing skills can go a lot further; creating staff capacity for activities that need to be done but has been left waiting for new resources. Automation consolodates knowledge and ensures it is not lost when staff leave or move on.
Training and Education is a great opportunity to upskill your existing workforce. This does not mean you load them with double the responsibility, rather prepares them for new technologies and working practices in line with the changing landscapes.
The downside of this is the associated cost and time it takes to complete. If skills are needed ASAP then you cannot wait around for staff to be up to speed.
Outsourcing skills is perhaps the quickest way of mitigating the skills shortage. Finding a reputable partner with the desired skills means you do not have to find them as permanent in-house staff; removing the strain on budgets and recruitment.
These skills can vary from business analysts and project managers to IT and other specialist roles.
Outsourcing may also include procuring a managed service. This is mainly when looking at IT solutions. Managed Services mean your chosen vendor deploys, hosts, and manages the software and accompanying applications within the agreement (these are typically cloud-based).
Managed services take the responsibility out of house and ensures your software applications run as optimally as possible with patches and other support being included. Your users see the benefit without the worry of having the skills to fix bugs and make it run.
Responsiv offer managed services for a number of solutions including our Responsiv Cloud Platforms.
This means we deploy, host, manage and support your environments on behalf of your organisation. Your end users get the benefit of software applications and processes on cloud, without worrying about having to support the skills in house.
Responsiv Assist is our remote technical support offering. Credit-based, it can be utilised only when needed for software support – upgrades and patches, training sessions, troubleshooting, license and certification monitoring, document reviewing, and more.
Get in touch to find out how we can best help your organisation tackle the skills shortage.
Improving the way Emergency Services interact digitally will change the way they provide service to residents when they need it. This may include changing the way internal departments coordinate to manage requests such as home fire safety checks, or allowing police and ambulance services to share information easily when required.
The 2022 Health and Care Act introduced new legislative measures that aim to make it easier for health and care organisations to deliver joined-up care for people who rely on multiple different services. Among a wide range of other measures, the Act also includes targeted changes to public health, social care and the oversight of quality and safety.
The framework aims to facilitate greater collaboration between the NHS (internally and externally), local authorities, and other partners through integrated care systems.
Police services are said to be treated like a last resort solution where other emergency and healthcare services have failed. With an increase of mental health crises in the UK, the police are called in for safety checks and when people are on the edge. These cases are picked up by one service before they are passed to the next where little is done to resolve the root cause, only for the cycle to repeat itself.
The police are serving in an ‘after the event’ capacity instead of a preventative state which needs to shift.
Improving the way information is shared between necessary partners and services should help address the ‘last resort’ issue that arises from a lack of service integration. To accomplish this, secure and highly available business integration will be required. Automating processes, workflows, and data collection will ensure accuracy and timeliness to improve turn-around of service and information sharing.
To connect business in this context is to connect across services – police, ambulance, fire and rescue, NHS, and other local authorities. This is a challenge that goes beyond trying to connect a single organisation, but ultimately the premises are the same.
Creating an integrated care system that spans the NHS, local authorities, and other partners is a large and expensive challenge.
Understanding what systems, regulations (data protection, priviledged users), and processes are in place will be difficult; having access to the skills to find these things out will also be a challenge.
Integration and Automation utilised together to allow transfer of data between services will require expert skills and knowledge to accomplish without compromise. Understanding the intricacies of secure IT architecture to protect this data as it is shared requires years of experience.
Responsiv’s expertise lies with automation and integration. We can ascertain the business requirements to design, build, and deploy an integrated care system across emergency service partners.
Understanding the role each service provider plays will help ensure the right escalation points are involved at the right time with data and relevant histories to make decisions on when and how to act.
The Responsiv Jigsaw method is an example of how organisations can implement their own solutions in phases to connect and utilise processes across different businesses.
Each part of the ‘puzzle’ is built independently and conforms to an agreed “interface framework”. Identical software environments assist compatibility, and coordination is based on framework not technology or design details.
Release schedules and success are independent for each piece of the puzzle. Each part can connect with the larger puzzle and the “Interface framework” allows business process and integration automations to be shared. The common platform delivers secure federation and data sharing.