Combining or sharing assets is just one of the ways in which public sector organisations are reducing costs and improving efficiencies. In Scotland, a partnership approach between South Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, and East Ayrshire Councils, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, and geographic information supplied under the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) to help identify public sector facilities and buildings across Ayrshire. This shared-service approach has led to savings totalling between £40 000 and £50 000.
Before evaluating which land or buildings were suitable for joint use, the two organisations first needed an overview of where their individual assets were currently located. South Ayrshire Council was able to access this information from its geographical information system (GIS). NHS Ayrshire & Arran did not have such an infrastructure in place and needed help in establishing a GIS of its own that would provide this and other asset information.
South Ayrshire Council worked with NHS Ayrshire & Arran to help develop a customised web-mapping application that would allow users to easily and quickly view asset information against Ordnance Survey mapping at a range of scales. As members of the OSMA, which enables the Scottish public sector to access and license Ordnance Survey data under a single agreement, both organisations were able to seamlessly share mapping, helping to reduce duplication of effort and costs.
The application, which is accessed via a dedicated website, uses OS Street View®, 1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster and 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster data, and Strategi®, a regional overview of the road network, railway lines, cities and wooded areas. It incorporates asset information from the region’s three local authorities – North, East and South Ayrshire councils – as well as NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the police service. This is displayed as points and polygons against a mapping backdrop. Built-in tools enable users to search, query and analyse additional information about each asset and the maps can be annotated and printed off for use across the health board.
- Using the shared-service approach has enabled savings of around £40 000 to £50 000 by reducing unnecessary software, hardware and people costs.
- Provides intelligence to improve decision-making across all partner organisations.
- Lays the foundations for further public sector partnerships covering the whole of Ayrshire.
- Savings due to no development costs of implementing a GIS solution for NHS Ayrshire & Arran by using existing GIS infrastructure of South Ayrshire Council.
- Potential to save money through facility-sharing across all partners.