Aarron Locks is the Community Safety Manager at Fenland District Council in Cambridgeshire and is the Project Lead and Co-ordinator for the Alcohol Partnership.
ECINS’ Heather Ette spoke to Aarron about the benefits of using ECINS to run the Partnership’s meetings.
HE: Who’s involved in the Alcohol Partnership meetings?
AL: There’s a wide range of agencies involved in our partnership and there are usually around around 8 to 15 individuals around the table. We meet once a month in one location and representatives attend from Fenland District Council Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Public Health, Local Commissioning Group, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, inclusion (local alcohol substance misuse provider), Richmond Fellowship (local Mental Health team) and Cambridgeshire and Fenland Council officers from Housing, Community Safety, Street Scene (Environmental officers), and Licensing.
HE: How do you get the partners engaged?
AL: As the Project Lead part of my job is to promote ECINS internally and to wider organisations to get them on board. All the partners are committed to supporting the agreed Partnership Action Plan and ECINS is part of that plan as the adopted vehicle for information sharing.
We support the Partnership with an ECINS training programme to ensure all the agencies involved can fully see the benefits of ECINS as an open yet controlled, secure way of sharing information and understand how to use it. When you deliver a partnership with a shared action plan it is important to have an information system that everyone has access to.
All of the external agencies can see the benefits of being able to share and access the information on ECINS and recognise there is a cost and efficiency saving through improved working practices and the reduction in duplication of effort.
HE: How do you run the Alcohol Partnership meeting on ECINS?
AL: We are all co-located in one room and we use a laptop to log in to ECINS and attach it to a large projector screen which enables us all to view the same screen at the same time. ECINS acts as the ‘glue’ for the Agenda as all the case information is on the one system and there is no need to refer to any paper files or individual files on our own PCs.
We carry out an ECINS Case Review where we go over the relevant reports which have been added onto the system during the last month since we last met. Because all of the tasks and actions are logged on ECINS we can check whether anything is outstanding or still needs completing from the last meeting.
HE: Does using ECINS to run your meetings save you money or time?
AL: By using ECINS we are able to reduce the burden of printing and stationery costs by not having the need or requirement to print out action plans, minutes and other meeting related papers as all the detail is held on the system. By making use of the ECINS action and tasking features this saves resource time in not having the need to send numerous emails after the meeting. As the system has a deadline feature it also manages the actions being tracked which again saves performance monitoring time.
HE: Do you have any plans to increase or enhance your use of ECINS?
As a local partnership we continue to promote the effectiveness of the system to wider partners and hopefully enabling them to make use of the system as a partnership information sharing platform. As more partners utilise the system it naturally leads to improved information sharing which helps ensure efficient partnership working.