March Hartly Larking Award Winner
We worked with Cambridgeshire County Council, local NHS people and data security experts to create a system to write useful data onto Bus Passes. Since most regular users of healthcare are over 65 and all of them are entitled to a free Bus Pass, why not use a resource we've already created to help solve the biggest problem in the system - providing seamless, joined up, integrated, unified (tick the one you like) services.
Every bit of the system needs to know who you are, your contact details, your GP's phone number, your next of kin and whether you have some special condition, all when you're too sick to tell them. One of the great nightmares of the system now is that, even if you could tell everyone these things at a front desk, someone else down the corridor is likely to ask you for them all over again because systems aren't joined up.
So put the information on your Bus Pass where it can be read at a clinic reception desk, by a district nurse with a mobile phone, by a social worker, by a hospital specialist or an ambulance paramedic - you share your data only with the people you want to see it.
It can be used to get discounts on swimming or other local authority centres and it can be used to support time-banking and other local voluntary efforts. This project was funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough HIEC and has completed a successful feasibility study.
We have a working system which can be adopted by any local authority which wants to turn its Bus Passes into Care Cards. It hasn't yet been adopted in Cambridgeshire because our local system has been tied up in a massive competitive procurement exercise for older people's care services. So we're looking for other (simpler!) local authority areas where there is a real desire to collaborate on integrated care for their older people.