New IT system enhances support for vulnerable individuals across Greater Manchester

Vulnerable individuals across Greater Manchester who are experiencing, or are at risk of, rough sleeping are now benefitting through the digitisation of an existing case management system used by the region’s A Bed Every Night (ABEN) scheme.

Launched in summer 2021, the system will streamline data used by professionals working across the ABEN service, providing timely information to enable targeted support to individuals. The digitisation will enhance the current user experience, by providing a common service that is intuitive and easy to use.

All 10 Greater Manchester local authorities will be using the new system, making the system an exemplar of both innovative collaborative digital transformation and demonstrates how Greater Manchester Combined Authority are ensuring that everyone in in the region, whatever their age, location or situation, can benefit from the opportunities digital brings, as outlined in Greater Manchester’s Digital Blueprint.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) commissioned Real Systems to build the new database. Real Systems, which is part of the leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s, specialise in building and managing database systems for local authorities and charities in the homelessness sector.

The system offers relevant professionals within each local authority, the ability to share data about their clients and visualise it using dashboards. They can also view demographic data to identify cross-locality activity and enable their support to be joined up more effectively.

Cllr Andrew Western, GMCA Lead for Digital, Work and Skills said: “We want to ensure that everyone in Greater Manchester, whatever their age, location or situation, can benefit from the opportunities digital brings – and this project is one way we are working towards that.

“This work will also pave the way for other public service areas to digitally transform the service citizens receive, by digitising paper-based forms, joining up different parts of the system and sharing information safely and securely.”

The digitisation of the case management system will offer providers a more effective way to record coordinated support for vulnerable individuals, providing a person-centred approach – and where possible using the ‘tell us once approach’. Through this digitisation, and better use of data, Greater Manchester partners can ensure individuals can easily access the right support at the right time from different professionals and agencies. 

Over the last few months Real Systems and GMCA have worked closely to consult, design and build the new database which will gather information related to the number of people being accommodated by ABEN.

Real Systems will continue to manage the database, supporting local authorities and delivery partners to monitor, collate and report quality data in ways which will help gain a better understanding, and which should lead to a better provision of support provided to people experiencing rough sleeping.

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