Case Studies

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Supporting Vulnerable People During an Emergency at Wigan Council

Thank you for your interest in the SAVVI case study of how Wigan Council engaged with the SAVVI method to design how they will support vulnerable people.

Executive Summary

SAVVI, a Scalable Approach to Vulnerability via Interoperability, is a data project that aims to support early identification of vulnerable people and households, and to make smarter interventions and referrals. To do this, SAVVI defines an iterative model process that councils can use to ‘find, assess, and support’ people in need. SAVVI pulls together practical guidance, frameworks, standards, templates and resources in an online playbook to support every stage of the SAVVI model process.
This is a case study of how Wigan Council engaged with the SAVVI method, during 2023, to improve how they support vulnerable people in the event of a civil contingency emergency, such as in the event of a flood. The purpose of the document is to share the Wigan experience to inspire other councils looking to adopt a similar SAVVI-style approach to finding and supporting vulnerable people in their area. The case study is structured in sections that follow the stages of the SAVVI model process to enable readers to understand where each stage of the Wigan Here for You project maps to SAVVI.
This case study will be of particular interest to: civil contingencies teams, regional local resilience forums, and project teams who want to find and support people in need; data and digital teams who want to handle and share data to a reusable standard; Information Governance teams who want to ensure that data is being shared and reused legally, ethically, and transparently; and performance and BI teams who want to evidence that a project is effective in reducing hardship. ‘Here for You’ is Wigan Council’s project to develop a data driven approach that builds a picture of who is vulnerable, providing valuable intelligence as to who may need support in the event of a civil emergency. In particular, this new approach identifies the risk factors that can be used to find vulnerable people; regularly extracts those risk factors from various computer systems so that the data is up-to-date and emergency ready; and uses the council’s existing GIS system to link Risk Factors to properties. The Here for You case study refers to all six stages of the SAVVI model process, with a particular focus on: PURPOSE, ‘FIND’, and ‘ASSESS.
This case study shows how a clearly defined purpose for a SAVVI project can successfully drive design through the six stage model process. Moreover, establishing the clear purpose for the project at the outset provided a solid structure for the information governance work in the FIND stage, particularly when considering purpose compatibility and the need to find a lawful basis for the re-use of data. Establishing lawful, ethical and transparent data-use as part of the design process was foundational to project success, validating the need for the SAVVI IG Framework, and other practical IG tools that SAVVI has prototyped to support councils working on a vulnerability project.
Wigan council now has a more reliable and significantly improved capability to find people at risk with vulnerabilities in an emergency. The SAVVI model process and IG framework allows others to adapt Wigan’s learning and approach, and also allows Wigan council to apply this method to other vulnerability projects.

Introduction

This is a case study of how Wigan Council engaged with the SAVVI method, during 2022 and 2023, to design how they will support vulnerable people during a flood and other emergencies, via their ‘Here For You’ project. The project was the first stage in Wigan fulfilling its broad ambition to improve its approach to supporting vulnerable people.
Wigan Council's biggest challenge before the project was being able to develop a complete picture of who is vulnerable in their area because the information needed to assess the risk of vulnerability was held in several different datasets, all with their own definitions and usage rights. This made it challenging to assess the risk of vulnerability legally, ethically and transparently.
The purpose of this document is to share Wigan Council’s experience and to inspire other councils looking to adopt a similar SAVVI-style approach to finding and supporting vulnerable people in their area.

Supporting Vulnerable People in an Emergency

Wigan Council is a Category 1 Responder as defined by the . These responders need to be ready to identify residents who are most likely to be at risk in a wide range of emergencies, some of which come with a warning period, such as a storm that may cause flooding or property damage, while others require an immediate response, such as a terrorist incident, utility outage or the accidental release of a dangerous substance.
The main objectives of the initial response by Category 1 Responders to emergencies are to:
Warn and inform.
Save and protect life.
Relieve suffering.
Prevent escalation.
Protect the health and safety of personnel.
Safeguard the environment.
Protect property.
Maintain or restore critical services.
Information sharing during an emergency is necessary so that responders can make the right judgements. If responders have access to all the information they need, they can make the right decisions about how to plan and what to plan for. If they do not have timely access to all the information, their planning and decision making will not be as good and vulnerable people may not receive the support they need in a timely manner.
Some people may be less able to help themselves during an emergency. People who might be vulnerable will vary depending on the nature of the emergency, but plans should consider people
who may struggle with their mobility
who may struggle with cognition and may need additional support to understand the situation.
with a sensory disability.
with other vulnerabilities and who live alone.
Wigan Council holds and owns data about people, on various computer systems, which can identify vulnerabilities, and higher risk locations. While it is possible to interrogate these separate systems as an emergency is occurring, it is resource intensive in terms of staff time and frequently means that this information cannot be supplied to Incident Commanders in time for it to inform their decision making and planning.
Emergencies occur at any time and often outside of the normal working hours of most Council staff; so, a common experience for Wigan Council was having to arrange access to data, very quickly, during an emergency.
This typically elevated the risk of either using data inappropriately, e.g. sharing far more data than was strictly necessary, or delaying the response to the most vulnerable residents.
An alternative for Wigan Council was to use a less data-driven approach, for example approaching all residents in a flood area, much of which is unnecessary and, again, delayed, or reduced help to those who needed it the most.
This demonstrates that advance planning is essential because it allows ethical factors to be fully considered without the limitations of acting during an emergency period, and allows the council to consult and inform residents about the use of their data.
Planning the use of data well in advance of an emergency has enabled all of these activities, including the processing of personal data, to be designed and implemented legally, ethically and transparently.

Here for You - Wigan’s Data Led approach

Wigan have created a new approach that
identifies the Risk Factors that can be used to find vulnerable people
regularly extracts those Risk Factors from various computer systems so that they are up-to-date and ready for use in an emergency
uses the council’s existing GIS system to link Risk Factors to properties
During an emergency, the geographic area affected by the incident can be plotted so that properties with Risk Factors can be presented visually on a map, and listed for use by responders.
Reuse of existing personal data in this way needs to be compliant with data protection, privacy and ethical considerations. Wigan have designed the solution to be GDPR compliant, including being secure, with restricted access and with an auditable trail of who accessed it and when.
The solution can be accessed 24/7 and provides the information within minutes to inform Incident Commanders, enabling targeted support to be offered to the most vulnerable residents during an emergency.
As phase one of the project, which is now complete, was to establish internal data reuse processes, no data sharing arrangements with other organisations were developed. During the next phase of the work, Wigan Council intends to form data sharing agreements with partners such as Health and Utility organisations, to acquire additional Risk Factors data.

How SAVVI supports the Wigan approach

About SAVVI

, standing for ‘a Scalable Approach to Vulnerability via Interoperability’, is a programme hosted by on behalf of the local public sector, and funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC)
within the .
SAVVI is proposing the , to promote how data can be used to improve early identification and smarter interventions, particularly where no single organisation has access to all the data and insight that can predict who may be struggling. Finding people or households who may be vulnerable requires that we are able to routinely bring existing data together, from many sources.
The playbook includes
a to find, assess, and support vulnerable people and households;
to support the common process, and promote interoperability;
an to ensure that data is handled legally, ethically and transparently;
The rationale for the SAVVI Playbook is that it can be applied to all vulnerability scenarios so that
investments in technologies and data sharing can be reused across initiatives;
we are ready for the next emergency

Phases of the SAVVI Process

The SAVVI Process is organised into six phases.
1
Untitled.jpg
PURPOSE - setting up a Vulnerability Initiative
FIND - using data to find people who may be at risk
ASSESS - listening, to understand needs and circumstances
SUPPORT - addressing needs by offering support
REPORT - monitoring outcomes over a caseload
IMPROVE - reviewing data to get better results
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Establishing the Project Team

SAVVI recommends a project team structure that includes
vulnerability or operational subject matter experts
data analysis and integration expertise
information governance professionals.
Additionally, SAVVI recommends a governing group to sign-off key decisions and definitions that are set out in the SAVVI Playbook.

Wigan Council’s project team included:

members of the Civil Contingencies team who were able to specify the Risk Factors they wanted to use to prioritise residents at highest risk in different emergencies
representatives of the Joint Intelligence Unit who were able to identify the required sources of data
the council’s information governance manager and policy officer, who could ensure the project complied with its information governance policies and processes, and
a technical support analyst and information developer to design data movement processes
The project team was overseen by Wigan Council’s Director of Public Health, Strategic Lawyer (and data protection officer) and the Joint Intelligence Unit service manager. Additional governance was provided by the council’s Caldicott Guardian.

Applying SAVVI to the Wigan ‘Here for You’ project.

PURPOSE - setting up a Vulnerability Initiative

This is the first phase of the SAVVI process. During this phase, the vulnerabilities are defined, together with the ‘purpose’ that gives the organisation the remit to address them.

Defining the Vulnerabilities


The SAVVI Concept Model defines ‘Vulnerability’ as
1
Vulnerability
The increased risk of a poor outcome
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Wigan defined three Vulnerabilities that are in scope of the ‘Here for You’ project.
1
Vulnerability
Description
2
Being unsafe during Adverse Weather
Risk of harm caused by Adverse Weather such as
high winds
flooding
… which might require evacuation or support at home. The risk could be higher for those with
mobility issues
physical and mental health conditions
sensory impairment
type of accommodation
living alone
3
Being unsafe during a Utility Outage
Risk of harm during a utilities outage such as
electric
water
sewerage
… which might require support at home. The risk could be higher for those with
dependency on equipment
physical and mental health conditions
living alone
4
Being unsafe during an Environmental or Terrorist threat
Risk of harm caused by an Environmental or Terrorist threat such as
pollution
unexploded bomb
toxic agent
… which might require evacuation. The risk could be higher for those with
mobility issues
physical and mental health conditions
sensory impairment
living alone
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Defining the Purpose

An organisation needs to demonstrate that it has a remit to address vulnerabilities. This becomes important when data that was collected for an original purpose, is to be re-used for this new purpose. This is best expressed as powers and/or duties that define the Purpose.
The SAVVI Concept Model defines ‘Purpose’ as
1
Purpose
The remit that an Organisation has to carry out an initiative covering one or more VULNERABILITYs.
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Wigan defined one Purpose as
Purpose
Civil Contingencies - Preventing and Mitigating harm to people and households during an emergency.
Powers and Duties
The requires that a Local Authority will
(d)maintain plans for the purpose of ensuring that if an emergency occurs or is likely to occur the person or body is able to perform his or its functions so far as necessary or desirable for the purpose of—
(i)preventing the emergency,
(ii)reducing, controlling or mitigating its effects, or
(iii)taking other action in connection with it,

See -

FIND - using data to find people who may be at risk

The FIND phase defines a set of Risk Factors and how they can be used to find people who may be vulnerable.

Defining Risk Factors

The SAVVI Concept Model defines ‘Risk Factor’ as
1
Risk Factor
A single fact about a Person or Household that can be combined with others to categorise the risk of a VULNERABILITY , and predict NEEDs
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Wigan defined 15 Risk Factors
1
Risk Factor
Definition.
2
Sight Impaired
A person who has a sight impairment.
3
Receives homecare
A person who is in receipt of domiciliary social care.
4
Hearing impaired
A person who has a hearing impairment.
5
Health Condition
A person known to have a health condition.
6
Care Home resident
A person who is a care home resident.
7
ASD diagnosis
A person known to have been diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
8
Mental Health diagnosis
A person who is known to have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
9
Disability
A person known to have a disability.
10
Assistive Technology service
A person who receives an assistive technology service.
11
Single person-household Council Tax discount
A household that receives the single person-household discount to their Council Tax.
12
Assisted refuse collections
A household that is in receipt of the assisted refuse collections service delivered by a local authority.
13
Sheltered Housing
A household that lives in Sheltered Housing.
14
Blue Badge
A person who has been granted a Blue Badge.
15
Mobility issue
A person who has mobility issues.
16
High-rise building
A household that lives in a high-rise building.
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Defining how Risk Factors are applied

The SAVVI Concept Model defines ‘Risk Policy’ as
1
Risk Policy
The Rules by which RISK_FACTORs will be used to prioritise VULNERABILITY risk and predict NEEDs.
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Wigan defined a Risk Policy that covers the three Vulnerabilities and how they are categorised. Categories can be used to prioritise a response. Wigan have chosen to have two categories of Risk
At Risk
At Risk and Living Alone
1
Being unsafe during Adverse Weather
ANY of the following Risk Factors:
Assistive Technology service
Receives homecare
Disability
Assisted refuse collections
Blue Badge
Mobility issue
Health Condition
Mental Health diagnosis
ASD diagnosis
Sight Impaired
Hearing impaired
Care Home resident
Sheltered Housing
High-rise building
AND ANY of the following Risk Factors:
Single person-household Council Tax discount
At Risk and Living Alone
2
ANY of the following Risk Factors:
Assistive Technology service
Receives homecare
Disability
Assisted refuse collections
Blue Badge
Mobility issue
Health Condition
Mental Health diagnosis
ASD diagnosis
Sight Impaired
Hearing impaired
Care Home resident
Sheltered Housing
High-rise building
AND NONE of the following Risk Factors:
Single person-household Council Tax discount
At Risk
3
Being unsafe during a Utility outage
ANY of the following Risk Factors:
Assistive Technology service
Health Condition
ASD diagnosis
Mental Health diagnosis
Disability
Hearing impaired
Sight Impaired
Receives homecare
AND ANY of the following Risk Factors
Single person-household Council Tax discount
At Risk and Living Alone
4
ANY of the following Risk Factors:
Assistive Technology service
Health Condition
ASD diagnosis
Mental Health diagnosis
Disability
Hearing impaired
Sight Impaired
Receives homecare
AND NONE of the following Risk Factors
Single person-household Council Tax discount
At Risk
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Being unsafe during an Environmental or Terrorist threat
ANY of the following Risk Factors:
Assistive Technology service
Receives homecare
Disability
Assisted refuse collections
Blue Badge
Mobility issue
Health Condition
Mental Health diagnosis
ASD diagnosis
Sight Impaired
Hearing impaired
AND ANY of the following Risk Factors
Single person-household Council Tax discount
At Risk and Living Alone
6
ANY of the following Risk Factors:
Assistive Technology service
Receives homecare
Disability
Assisted refuse collections
Blue Badge
Mobility issue
Health Condition
Mental Health diagnosis
ASD diagnosis
Sight Impaired
Hearing impaired
AND NONE of the following Risk Factors
Single person-household Council Tax discount
At Risk
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The SAVVI process highlights that the choice of Risk Factors needs to be supported by some evidence that demonstrates that they are effective in finding people at risk. This becomes important when arranging for data sharing so that the data controller can be assured that their data is necessary to make the Risk Policy work.
Wigan set their evidence as - The evidence for the use of these Risk Factors was generated via a retrospective review of the response to previous emergencies, including flooding during Storm Christoff in 2021. The Risk Factors included in this risk model are those that the operational team found would have been most indicative of Needs and priority.

Defining How Risk Factors are Accessed

SAVVI sets out a Data Flow Map, to show where Risk Factor data can be drawn from.
Rather than refer to specific computer systems, or suppliers, SAVVI uses a more generic ‘Information Type’ so that other organisations can re-use parts of the map.
The SAVVI Concept Model defines ‘Information Type’ as
1
Information Type
A generic description of a dataset that one or many organisations may hold, collected for a single PURPOSE.
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Wigan defined their Data Flow Map as
1
Local Authority
Adult Social Care
Health and Social Care Act 2008
Sight Impaired
Receives homecare
Hearing impaired
Health Condition
Care Home resident
ASD diagnosis
Mental Health diagnosis
Assistive Technology service
Mobility issue
2
Local Authority
Social Housing
Housing Act 1985
Disability
Sheltered Housing
High-rise building
3
Local Authority
Council Tax
The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992
Single person-household Council Tax discount
4
Local Authority
Environmental Protection Services
Environmental Protection Act 1990
Assisted refuse collections
5
Local Authority
Mobility services
Disabled Persons' Parking Badges Act 2013
Blue Badge
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So far, Wigan are reusing their own data, but this approach will also map out data controlled by other organisations.

ASSESS - listening, to understand needs and circumstances

The ASSESS phase sets out how people on a Risk Index are then assessed to understand their Needs.
At Wigan, this assessment is carried out by the council via the Health Protection and Civil contingencies Service.

Defining Needs

The SAVVI Concept Model defines ‘Need’ as
1
Need
A requirement of a Person or Household that can be addressed.
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Wigan defined 5 Needs for which they can arrange support offers.
1
Need
Definition
2
Enhanced communication
Enhanced communications during an emergency, targeted at those who might otherwise be unable to receive messages given to the general population.
3
Support to evacuate
Support to evacuate, for example to evacuate to a place of safety during an emergency.
4
Support to remain safe at home
Support to remain safe at home during an emergency.
5
Support to protect property
Support, above and beyond that which would be offered to the general population, to protect property from damage, such as placing sandbags over doorways or moving items to the 1st floor elevation or higher.
6
Post-incident support with property damage
Support, above and beyond that which would be offered to the general population, to restore their domestic dwelling from damage to avoid being vulnerable following an emergency.
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SUPPORT - addressing needs by offering support

The SUPPORT phase sets out how people with one or more Needs could then be supported with a Service or Intervention, which might be referrals to other organisations.

Define Services

The SAVVI Concept Model defines Service as
1
Service
The ability for a Delivery Organisation to carry out one or more predetermined methods designed to deliver an OUTCOME.
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A selection of the Services Wigan can deliver or refer to is listed below.
1
Rescue to a place of safety
Support to evacuate
Fire and rescue service
2
Ambulance transport
Support to evacuate
Ambulance service
3
Bariatric ambulance transport
Support to evacuate
Ambulance service
4
Temporary power supply
Support to remain safe at home
Utilities supplier
5
Medicines delivery
Support to remain safe at home
Pharmacy
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REPORT - monitoring outcomes over a caseload

The REPORT phase uses many of the definitions already set out. With this language in place, a multi-agency dashboard and outcomes framework could be put in place to answer questions such as
How many cases, for each risk category, are on the Risk Index?
What Needs have been determined?
What Services have been used?
What Outcomes have been achieved?

Defining Outcomes

The SAVVI Concept Model defines ‘Outcome’ as;
1
Outcome
A possible result that can be achieved by addressing the NEEDs of a Person or Household.
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Wigan have not reached this part of the SAVVI process. We suggest that outcomes could be recorded such as;
1
Outcome
Definition
2
Evacuated to safety
A person or household is now in a place of safety during a civil emergency that necessitates evacuation from their home.
3
Property protected
A domestic dwelling and its contents are protected from damage during an emergency for a household that would otherwise be vulnerable.
4
Post-incident resolution
Property damage caused during an emergency has been resolved or mitigated for a household that would otherwise be vulnerable.
5
Welfare via communications
A person with additional communication needs has made appropriate decisions to safeguard their welfare during an emergency, having received enhanced communications.
6
Safe at home
A person or household remains safe in their home throughout an emergency.
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IMPROVE - reviewing data to get better results

As a SAVVI Vulnerability Initiative is run, data is collected conforming to the SAVVI Concept Model. This data can be analysed to consider questions such as

How can the Risk Policy be improved to improve the hit-rate of finding people that do need help.
What Risk Factors did people have who were not on the Risk Index, but did need help.
What Services are effective in contributing to good Outcomes when addressing which Needs
Since implementing the ‘Here for You’ approach, Wigan have not yet had an emergency incident. When they do, they will have collected data that could be analysed to help them to improve the effectiveness of the data-led approach.

Using Data Lawfully, Ethically and Transparently

The SAVVI Playbook includes an with steps to ensure that data is used, and reused, legally, ethically, and transparently.
The SAVVI IG Framework refers to existing codes and guidance including ...
The framework defines some key steps and assessments to take, which are then referred to in a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA).

The re-use of existing data as the source of Risk Factors

Each of the Risk Factors were considered , by looking at the ‘Information Types’ that they are derived from.

Purpose Compatibility

The Data Flow Map has demonstrated that the Purposes for which the Risk Factor data was originally recorded, is different to the Civil contingencies Purpose. ICO guidance is that …
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You can only use the personal data for a new purpose if either
this is compatible with your original purpose,
you get consent, or
you have a clear obligation or function set out in law.
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Developing data reuse propositions

As the revised purpose is not ‘compatible’, Wigan needed to establish the ‘Lawful Basis’ for its reuse for Civil Contingencies.
The SAVVI Information Governance Framework sets out how to define a for each Information Type, and specify
the proposed GDPR Lawful Basis
where applicable, one or more Legal Gateways
where required further Conditions for Processing
The Purpose for the new data use had already been set out in the Purpose phase. The new lawful basis for the new use was determined to be “Legal Obligation”.
The Data Flow map had documented each of the data sources, and the lawful basis on which personal data was originally collected. A legal gateway is needed to enable the existing data to be reused for the new purpose. The legal gateway for all the data was determined to be
1
In Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, Local Authorities in England are defined as “Category 1 Responders”, which gives them a duty to maintain plans for the purpose of ensuring that if an emergency occurs or is likely to occur they able to perform their functions so far as necessary or desirable for the purpose of:
(i)preventing the emergency,
(ii)reducing, controlling or mitigating its effects, or
(iii)taking other action in connection with it,
Given the law requires this planning, the three purposes listed above are interpreted as implied statutory powers in the Information Commissioner’s Office Lawfulness guidance.
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Data Ethics

Having established that data reuse is lawful, the SAVVI IG Framework proposes that a further assessment should be done to assess the ethical reuse of data. The framework points to the UK Government’s , which requires that the processing of Personal Data demonstrates
Accountability
Fairness
Transparency

Wigan considered ethical factors and the impact on individuals by balancing
the council’s responsibilities to respond during an emergency on the basis that without intervention there are potential risks to life.
the Human Rights Act 1998 which sets out responsibilities for public authorities to take positive steps to protect rights when lives are in danger.
Wigan Council wanted to be as transparent as possible about reusing existing data to prioritise households in an emergency, so provided information on Council Tax bills sent to residents about the project and how council tax payers’ data would be used to support those at risk in an emergency.
The council also updated its privacy statements to reflect the new data processing activity and actively communicated with residents about the project through a resident publication ‘Wigan Life’, via a press release and and with articles on its corporate website.

Conducting a DPIA

Having fully defined the data reuse necessary for the project, Wigan Council undertook a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) to assure themselves that any data protection, privacy or rights relating risks associated with the project were identified and mitigated as far as possible. This assessment covered the following topics:

setting out the purpose, limitations and accountabilities
documenting individuals and teams for source data and processing
data processing and storage technology
user access controls, data security technology and arrangements and backup and business continuity
the Risk Policies and Risk Factors to be used
the processing model to be used (i.e. personal/household attributes geocoded via UPRN)
the lawful basis of data processing
considerations of the necessity of use of special category data / criminal offence data and the relevant conditions that needed to be met
a risk assessment and mitigations
the data flow map
ethical considerations, particularly, individual privacy rights, equality rights and obligations under the Human Rights 1998 (Section 8) and the necessity and proportionality of the proposed data use in relation to its anticipated benefits and potential unintended consequences.
compliance with data protection principles and general requirements regarding high risk processing
transparency developing a communications plan to inform residents about the project, including updating privacy statements, using council tax bills to communicate with residents, a Resident Newsletter and SAR and audit arrangements
data quality (accuracy, currency, collection and storage processes)

The Technical Solution

Deriving Risk Factors from data sources

Wigan Council established nightly extracts from their source data systems based on the Risk Factors required for the risk model. These extracts are transformed into Boolean (yes/no) values and imported as a layer into the council’s existing Geographic Information System (GIS), so that they can be queried geographically and/or exported as a list of addresses depending on the nature of the emergency and the required response.
For some of the data sources, Wigan uses Microsoft’s SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to make direct data queries on the council’s databases to read into the Civil Contingencies database. The ‘assisted bin collections’ service is managed by a supplier external to the council so data is transferred via a comma separated values (CSV) spreadsheet which is transferred automatically each day via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). The CSV data is imported to a SQL Server database, transformed to a suitable structure and then queried in the same way as internal council databases to extract information relevant to Civil Contingencies.
The data transferred from each system is a set of flags which represent boolean values for each Risk Factor for residences or people which might indicate vulnerability. Against each Risk Factor, the residence is identified by the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), where this is available, which is transferred along with the address. The address is also stored as an extra piece of data. In rare cases where a UPRN has not been provided, an attempt is made to identify the UPRN from the address.
Additionally, where a Risk Factor describes a person, the person’s full name is also transferred. Where a Risk Factor describes more than one person at the same residence, the URPN is duplicated across more than one row of data.

Compiling a Risk Index

The data from the five systems is merged and, from that, a distinct list of all URPNs is generated. Data is then joined back against that distinct list resulting in a single list of URPNs with all Risk Factors against it.

That list is imported into the GIS database as the Risk Index.
Graphical user interface, application, map

Description automatically generated
The GIS offers a map image layer for each individual Risk Factor (e.g. HOMECARE = 'Y') and one for all residences with one or more Risk Factor present. The Civil Contingencies team queries the GIS database to identify residences that fall within the geographical polygon of the emergency that have a particular combination of Risk Factors relevant to the emergency, shown in the screenshot.

The database is stored in a secure environment with:
Restricted access – via login permissions
Auditable access

This gives timely, access to up-to-date information that assists:
Incident Commanders to make better informed decisions and save lives.
Vulnerable people/addresses to be identified quickly.
Emergency Responders to prioritise addresses.
Vulnerable people to receive additional support to help them manage their way through an emergency
Incident Commanders to warn responders about higher risk locations and take appropriate mitigating actions.

Project Outcomes

Wigan Council now has a significantly improved capability to assess the needs of those at risk in an emergency which means:
the time it takes to find vulnerable people in an emergency is significantly reduced, so that an offer of support is received much earlier
the process to find vulnerable people is now more reliable so people are less likely to be missed when planning a response to an emergency
the process for finding vulnerable people is now more reliable so that the council is better prepared for emergencies.

The improved use of data to identify vulnerable people has removed bottlenecks from the emergency response mechanism, which is no longer dependent on key individuals with knowledge of data sources and analysis tools during an emergency.
Personal data use is significantly minimised compared to previously when raw data was exported, transmitted in full and analysed, leading to unnecessary processing and sharing of personal data and security risks.
Wigan Council has a model process to follow to implement the SAVVI approach and standards to other vulnerability initiatives.

Wigan Council’s Perspective

Rachael Musgrave, Director of Public Health and Chief Officer with responsibility for Civil Contingencies at Wigan Council says:
Incident Commanders must frequently make difficult decisions, in high pressure, challenging and changing environments, based on the information available to them at that moment in time.
The concept for the ‘Here For You’ project was to develop a system that would use the information already held by Wigan Council, on its different systems, to identify vulnerable people and their home address. Such a system should also be capable of plotting vulnerable people in any geographical area within Wigan Borough and be available to Incident Commanders within minutes of an emergency occurring, helping Incident Commanders to make more informed decisions about where to direct resources and provide speedier support to those most at risk during an incident.
Phase 1 has delivered such a system, providing information within minutes rather than hours or days. The system also allows users to amend the area impacted quickly and offers updated information on vulnerable people within minutes. This is particularly useful in situations such as flooding where the flood waters are projected to expand in time, or when there is smoke/toxic flume and the wind direction changes or is forecasted to change over time. This enables Incident Commanders to forward plan and target resources to support our most vulnerable residents at a time of need.
In Phase 2 we hope to improve the system further with the help of partners by sharing their data streams about known vulnerable people across our borough.
The SAVVI model allows other local authorities to adapt our learning and approach, along with the methodology we now have in place, to replicate the system using their own data streams, and quickly start to support their vulnerable residents more effectively.

Appendix A - SAVVI Recommendations

Further improvements to the Wigan approach can be made to make it more applicable to Risk Factors from any service provider and to reduce the amount of unnecessary data use and transfer, principally:
Generic data transfer - Wigan Council’s data transfer would be suitable for all data types if it switched from running SQL queries of the source data to using web methods with a predefined response structure e.g. via an HTTPS GET request or source organisation could POST data to the council when a Risk Factor changes.
Combinations of Risk Factors - Wigan Council’s visualisation of individuals and households via their GIS service could be improved by using predetermined combinations of risk factors, rather than just one risk factor at a time.
Data on demand - The ability to request risk factor data for specific geographies on demand once the notice of a potential or actual emergency has been given would remove the need to store large quantities of sensitive high risk data in line with the requirement to ensure that any processing or handling of Personal Data complies with the Data Minimisation principle.
Use of UPRNs - If UPRNs are consistently used by the source organisation to identify properties and / or individuals living alone in a property, this would reduce the need to utilise / share address details and support data minimisation.

Appendix B - Configuring SAVVI

Wigan’s ‘Here for You’ project has made a set of definitions including
Vulnerabilities
Risk Factors
Needs
Outcomes
etc
An ambition for SAVVI is to be able to pass data between systems, and across organisations, that refer to these definitions. For example
an organisation may share some risk factor data
organisations may share an outcomes dashboard.
To support this type of interoperability, the definitions can be looked up over the web, rather than as fields in a dataset or as column headings in a spreadsheet.
are the UK Government recommended way of giving a web address to a definition, which can ten be referred to in data.
To support the Wigan ‘Here for You’ project, the SAVVI team set up the definitions using the .
pasted image 0.png
Each of the separate definitions has its own web address ( or
) which can be looked up to give a machine-readable definition - for example
1
{
"uri": "http://id.savviuk.org/item/vulnerability/6",
"prefLabel": "Being unsafe during Adverse Weather",
"type": "http://id.savviuk.org/model/concepts/vulnerability",
"description": "<div>Risk of harm caused by Adverse Weather such as</div><div><ul><li>high winds</li><li>flooding</li></ul></div><div>… which might require evacuation or support at home. The risk could be higher for those with</div><div><ul><li>mobility issues</li><li>physical and mental health conditions</li><li>sensory impairment</li><li>type of accommodation</li><li>living alone</li></ul></div>",
"data": {
"source": "https://www.gmemergencyplanning.org.uk/risks/know-your-risks/flooding/"
},
"changes": "30/01/2024 - as per Case Study",
"inScheme": [
{
"@context": "https://gbv.github.io/jskos/context.json",
"uri": "http://id.savviuk.org/pattern/outcomesframework/2",
"prefLabel": "Civil Contingencies Outcomes",
"type": "http://id.savviuk.org/model/patterns/outcomesframework",
"description": "The outcomes framework that underpins the delivery of a council's responsibilities under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004",
"created": "2023-02-01T13:26:18.772Z",
"modified": "2024-02-14T13:55:29.998Z"
}
],
"created": "2023-02-01T13:28:50.989Z",
"modified": "2024-01-30T14:05:41.210Z",
"@context": "https://gbv.github.io/jskos/context.json"
}
There are no rows in this table

Appendix C - Wigan’s Information Governance SAVVI documents

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