The Borough of Croydon is one of London’s leading business, financial and cultural centres. The borough's local authority, Croydon Council, provides services to over 350,000 residents and has been using Huddle since 2016 to improve collaboration and secure file sharing across different departments and with external partners.

One such service operating in the borough, and benefiting from Huddle, is the South London Coroner’s Service. During an inquest, it is the Coroner’s duty to establish who the deceased was and how, when and where a death occurred. To do this, sensitive information needs to be shared with a number of different stakeholders (Interested Parties), including next of kin and their legal representatives, together with medical professionals, emergency services and expert witnesses.

Challenge

Prior to using Huddle, the South London Coroner’s Service found it a challenge to manage and track sensitive documentation as it was shared with external stakeholders preparing for and during the course of an inquest. Not only was this causing concerns over data privacy, but because files were stored across multiple, disparate systems, external stakeholders often complained that they weren’t able to access the information that they needed, when they needed it.

As a result, the team at the South London Coroner’s Service started its search for a Multi-Agency Collaboration platform to help them better control how sensitive files were managed, tracked and accessed.

Solution

The South London Coroner’s Service chose Huddle, allowing it to create secure cloud-based Workspaces for each inquest. This allows staff to collate and categorise documents relating to specific cases in a shared environment, but still be able to control access to different groups of stakeholders.

Users are able to track the progress of work, access key documents and securely collaborate with the inquest team. This ability to work, edit, share and request information in real time, not only improves productivity, but greatly reduces the risk of sensitive data being compromised during the course of an inquest.

 

 "Huddle has the ability to transcend organisational boundaries, enabling organisations to collaborate on case sensitive documentation with relevant stakeholders."

Malcolm Davies, Head of Risk & Corporate Programme Office

 

Helping the service to adhere to compliance standards

The South London Coroner’s Service now has full visibility into who has access to what documentation, and Workspace Managers can easily change user permissions if a member of the team leaves the organisation. There’s also the benefit of Huddle’s audit trail, with all activity in the Workspace being time-stamped and recorded to help adhere to strict governance and compliance standards.

Collating information is simple in Huddle 

When a team needs to collate reference materials in relation to an inquest, it can use Huddle to request files directly from relevant stakeholders by using Huddle's File Request feature. Replacing the need to manual request individual files over email, this feature enables a user to generate a request of up to 500 files at a time. Assignees are automatically notified and can securely upload the requested information directly into Huddle. Each file is individually tracked, and the requestor notified when new content is added, or a request becomes overdue.

Agile and Flexible Workspaces, reducing the amount of time it takes to onboarding new starters

The South London Coroner’s Service has found Huddle intuitive and flexible to use. New inquest “Workspaces” can be created in seconds and because it’s cloud-based, its accessible to all external stakeholders. Huddle’s clear user interface also means new users are productive immediately, with little needed for additional training.

 

"As a cloud based service, we have never had an issue accessing, or using Huddle and have full visibility into who has access to documentation thanks to a time stamped audit trail."

Malcolm Davies, Head of Risk & Corporate Programme Office

 

Outcome

Streamlining operational efficiency

Huddle has revolutionised how the South London Coroner’s Service works during an inquest. Teams have gained greater efficiency in collating and sharing files and they no longer need to waste time searching through disparate systems to find the information that they need. Document versions are automatically managed as they go through revisions and features such File Request, Tasks and Commenting ensure all work and communication can be contained in a single, auditable space that can be archived at the end of the inquest.

The risk of sensitive data being compromised has also been mitigated, with Huddle’s security controls helping to control access to different sections of a Workspace, and increasing confidence across all stakeholders.

 

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