Introduction to Locally Delivered Services Schema Guidance
The range and diversity of local public services is vast. They are delivered by many different organisations. Different people need different combinations of service and different channels of delivery. To understand the landscape of what services are available, to whom they are directed and how to apply usually involves an in-depth knowledge of local government or complex and time-consuming research.
In summer 2016, the Local Government Association partnered with iStandUK and private, public and voluntary organisations to develop a pilot programme to consult with service delivery, data and frontline professionals to trial a solution to better identify the availability of local services. The programme aimed to develop a consistent way for describing all local services as online digital information, no matter what the context, such that the data can be made available to public organisations and software developers to provide a means for citizens to find appropriate services from across organisations and local borders.
A foundation work stream in the programme was the creation and trial use of a generic services schema, capable of encouraging the publication of all local services by every local service provider in a consistent and easily located form. This schema is defined in this document. The project team is working with service providers in the North West region to pilot publication and use of local health and wellbeing services data that conforms to this schema. Results and outcomes will be published separately during 2017. In time, all local services providers in the public and private sector are encouraged to participate in order that we can promote, analyse and discover services nationally along any geographical lines and match them to people’s particular needs and circumstances.
What type of services can be represented in the schema?
In the UK, local authorities typically publish information about the services available to people in their area. For some types of service, there is a duty on a local authority to provide this information. Types of service can include:-
- Services from Local Authorities
- Adult’s services for Personalisation and Social Care
- Children’s and Family services
- Special Educational Needs services
- Services provided by Public Health organisations
- Services provided by community/voluntary groups and charities
- Services from commercial organisations
What can the schema be used for?
When local service information is available from many publishers to a consistent format, we hope to encourage:-
- The development of ‘apps’ to assist people finding services to meet needs and circumstances
- Combined directories of services from many providers for a particular audience group and locality
- Sharing of service information across administrative boundaries
- assessment of the availability, quality, impact and capacity of locally delivered services matched to the needs or priorities of local citizens