It’s been a packed first session at the NHS Hack Day. The pitches have taken place, and people have chosen where to put their energy and efforts. The hard work has begun.
I’ve caught up with Martin Chorley, who’s a lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Informatics at Cardiff University. The group working on his pitch includes students of Computational Journalism, who are looking to make health statistics and data easier to find, view and understand for different areas.
The data will be displayed on a map of Wales, and will clearly and easily convey information around issues like Cancer patient waiting lists, numbers of beds at Hospitals or even the spending levels of their Health Board.
This approach takes inspiration from NHSmaps.co.uk, which shows data for clinical commissioning groups in England, but it will also add further information to what’s available on the site.
Anybody who works in either local authorities or the NHS in Wales will know that the footprint of public services differ greatly, with the boundary of no one Health Board matching that of a Local Authority perfectly.
Instead of letting this get in the way of creating the tool, they’re cleverly getting around this by amending the metadata of the information they’re collating. This will result in the boundaries displayed on the map being amended according to the details of its information source. There is even the possibility of displaying the information to the level of a Lower Super Output Area.
It’s been impressive to see how people are negotiating issues that have so often been sticking points when we look to improve public services. Proof that working in new and different ways can result in interesting approaches to old problems.