The Use of Mapping Tools in the Development of Locality Working
Gwynedd is a geographically diverse area and planning for equitable access to services is a complex task. A range of maps were produced to describe the three identified localities, showing key relationships and helping to inform service redesign.
A geographical mapping tool, Active Mapping, was used to describe the area, the existing services and the prevalence of various chronic conditions.
The aim of using this technology was to meet the needs of a wide audience of health, social and voluntary services professionals by communicating the information in an accessible format to describe: Demographic differences throughout the locality areas; Catchment areas for access to GP services ;Areas covered by community-based services; Prevalence of a range of conditions.
Active Mapping, the tool used in Gwynedd, does not require complex programming skills. Data can be imported from spreadsheets and manipulated easily to produce informative maps.
The additional dimension of geographical information clearly demonstrates the challenges in a way which is accessible to a range of audiences and in many cases points to solutions.
Gwynedd Locality Profiles are available on CD in English and are currently being translated into
Welsh. Once complete the information will be available via the CCM Demonstrator website.
This methodology has been shared with other areas in north Wales and work is progressing to build up similar profiles.
Referrals and attendances at pain clinics have been mapped to identify gaps in provision and
current usage. This information will now be used to analyse referral patterns and inform future clinic locations.
As locality development has progressed further, the facility to geographically map staffing, services and conditions has been used in a variety of ways. The information produced to date will be used by the multi disciplinary and multi sectoral Locality Operational Groups to help identify key priorities for each area.
Why is this an improvement ?
The information has been used in Gwynedd to inform the reorganisation of social services
teams, and is now being used by the community nursing teams to better understand the population distribution within the locality and cluster areas. Using the mapping tool to create virtual boundaries around communities and transport links, details such as population size, elderly population and disease prevalence data is being used to inform the redesign of teams.
How does this benefit the service user ?
Working with the community based teams to map specific issues such as falls and fractures and
readmissions for heart failure etc. allows resources to be targeted where they are most needed.