Cumbria County Council awarded £139k in government funding to expand new digital tool

Cumbria County Council has been awarded £139,000 to support the scaling up of a digital tool which helps to identify vulnerable households during a crisis.
The innovative new tool, VIPER, was created by Cumbria County Council’s Digital Team in 2022 for regional and national partners within the Cumbria Local Resilience Forum (such as Emergency Services, NHS Bodies and Local Authorities). It searches multi-partner data sources to allow the rapid identification of vulnerable households in an emergency or crisis.
The money granted by government will fund a project to support the tool’s expansion, allowing it to be used by other authorities and Local Resilience Forums. The funding will also support investigation into the best scaling up strategy, and publishing of design patterns.
The VIPER project has also received deserving recognition on the national stage, winning Silver for ‘Best Use of Data Insight’ at the prestigious iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards last night (8 March 2023).
From 1 April 2023 the project will be hosted by Westmorland and Furness Council following Local Government Reorganisation in Cumbria.
Cllr Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue, said;
“This is a fantastic tool which will provide confidence, safety and security to communities.
“It will not only benefit those in vulnerable households during major incidents but will also be of great benefit to all agencies involved in responding to these emergency situations. It will significantly reduce the demand on resources, and the lag time between asking for a partner’s data and being able to use the information.
“The funding secured to scale up this project so other communities can benefit is thanks to the innovation of our Digital Team, and support of the Cumbria Local Resilience Forum.
“It’s fantastic that the project has received this outstanding iESE Public Sector Transformation Award, helping to further showcase the brilliant work of our teams.”

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