Falkirk Council’s work in resilience and emergency planning was recognised at a national awards ceremony last week (25 June).

The Council came out top in two categories – the Partnership Award and the Resilience Award – both for the development and implementation of a vulnerable person’s database, which helps identify the most vulnerable residents during times of unexpected disruption or emergency situations.

The Partnership Award recognises organisations who have worked in partnership to reduce risk while the Resilience award credits organisation’s who have implemented a resilience plan which is used effectively in response to an unexpected disruption or an emergency.

The new database was launched in 2017. Previously if an incident took place in the area, organisations relied on paper lists to identify the most vulnerable individuals within communities,  making it difficult to identify who would need priority assistance. Personal information could not be shared in advance due to legislation. The Council worked with NHS Forth Valley to overcome the  legislative barriers and the database now allows the sharing of both NHS data and Falkirk Council’s social work data to be matched . The vulnerable person’s database also allows for near instant identification of individuals via electronic mapping.

The data is kept secure at all times with access only to those who need the information in an emergency situation to support the vulnerable people.

Council Leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “These awards are testament to the commitment of our resilience team and public sector partners to come up with an innovative system to keep our most vulnerable residents safe during an incident or emergency situation.

“The database is a quantum leap in terms of a robust and manageable mechanism to identify our residents who may require immediate assistance in response to an incident. The data is reliable, regularly updated, secure, user friendly and available for use 24/7.”

The database has been promoted as an example of best practice throughout Scotland and the Scottish Government has used it to develop a national system. They said it was very doubtful if a national system could have been developed without the work, support and assistance of the Falkirk team.