Could data-sharing improve the support provided to service users in vulnerable situations?
As a litigant in person, explaining your situation to a support or legal adviser you don’t know can be difficult. Compounding this anxiety is having to repeatedly give the same information to multiple service providers. Could data-sharing be the answer?
A study by The University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) considers the benefit data-sharing between organisations could have for financial consumers in ‘vulnerable’ situations. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires that in certain situations, data regarding a customer’s ‘vulnerable’ situation, such as a health condition or disability is recorded. This is aimed to ensure fair treatment and support, however one survey respondent found being forced to repeatedly explain such “stressful and unnerving” information left them “feeling suicidal”.
Advice services are similarly tasked with gathering sensitive information from LiPs to gain an understanding of their legal situation. With LiPs known to use multiple services before their
legal issue ends, the PFRC’s proposed data-sharing solution is one for consideration.
Whilst reducing anxiety for litigants in person at any stage in the legal process would be a worthy benefit, the risk and management of the shared data, including the need for a unified data capturing system between service providers would be a significant and costly undertaking.
Whilst the PFRC’s proposed building block model deals with financial consumers, the success of encouraging individuals to proactively disclose sensitive information and trust those
involved in the data share will be valuable insight for any LiPs support and advice providers considering data-sharing in the future.
You can view the related blog by Jamie Evans here.