19 Jul 2022
by Tom Hindmarch

iNetwork: Supporting public sector organisations to share best practice around place

Guest blog by Tom Hindmarch, Stakeholder Engagement Manager at iNetwork

The concepts of ‘place’ and ‘place-based working’ encompass a broad range of topics including the built environment, planning, community engagement, activities and events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, place-based approaches have increasingly entered the spotlight as communities have become more localised and residents have changed how they access core services and amenities in their places.

Now more than ever, public sector organisations must share best practice around place-based approaches if they are to work effectively with industry in delivering optimal outcomes for citizens.

One key organisation doing just this is iNetwork. As a public sector partnership, iNetwork is led by its 120 public sector members and is dedicated to promoting excellence and innovation in public service delivery. It works closely with supporting sectors to provide engaging content to members and facilitates a diverse range of activities, providing members with the space to reflect and evaluate their personal and organisational practices. iNetwork also has strong links with regional and national bodies as well as central government departments, informing members on the latest developments in policy and guidance.

iNetwork has four overarching programmes which cover a range of themes important to the public and supporting sectors:

  • Effective Information Sharing and Security: supporting the local public sector in cyber security, information governance and information asset management
  • Transforming and Innovating Public Services: supporting place-based working, digital transformation, and culture and wellbeing
  • Connected Procurement and Commissioning: supporting procurement, contract management, and the achievement of social value through public spend
  • iStandUK: supporting local public sector (data standards)

In particular, the Transforming and Innovating Public Services (TIPS) workstream hosts several events focused on place which promote discussion around the key challenges and opportunities behind varying approaches. In recent months, the TIPS programme has held several discussions exploring a range of themes within place, covering elements such as Levelling up, Integrated Care System reform and the role of volunteers in the place.

Just last week and in collaboration with techUK, iNetwork hosted an event exploring the role of the technology industry in place. This brought together a range of speakers across the public and private sectors to discuss the importance of technology in supporting place development. You can click here to access the recording, speaker presentations and event summary.

In the coming months, iNetwork will be exploring more place-based themes including place-based strategies, community engagement and cross-sector partnership working.

There are multiple ways for organisations both in the public and supporting sectors to get involved and engage with iNetwork’s programme of activity.

For more information, visit our website at i-network.org.uk and to discuss how you can engage with us, contact Tom Hindmarch at [email protected].

The techUK podcast: Innovation in place-based care

In this episode we explore the concept of ‘place’ in care, the principles behind it, the impact of Covid-19 on care delivery, prospects for innovation following the introduction of Integrated Care Systems, examples of industry best practice, and where listeners can go to learn more about ‘place’ and innovation in care.

We were joined by Helena Zaum (Social Care Lead at Microsoft and Chair of techUK’s Social Care Working Group), Scott Cain (Associate at the Connected Places Catapult) and Hannah Groombridge (Healthcare Engagement Manager at Person Centred Software).

This discussion forms part of techUK’s Digital Place Week 2022 activity and features on our recently-launched Social Care Innovation Hub.

ICS Report.jpg

Read techUK's latest flagship report, released on Thursday's 'Health and Wellbeing' day:

Right from the start: What should Integrated Care Systems prioritise to make digital, data and technology work for them and their populations?



Tom Hindmarch

Stakeholder Engagement Manager , iNetwork