Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Today one of our older SSIS packages failed which loads data into our warehouse, it turns out one of the fields had been expanded as the business had started to use a different standard for one of the codes. Despite not being told about this, it causing it fail and generate extra work on an already busy Monday it was actually a really good thing.

Firstly, once we identified the problem (and fixed it), our main business contact was aware of it, was able to explain why it was happening. The change in a nutshell was to change from using a internal-only generated code to using the national standard – Care Quality Commission (CQC) ID.

Part of the next step of the change will be to bring on-board the CQC data which include the Care Home ratings. This will create a unified view of placements and ensuring no-one is in Care Home rated as inadequate.

CQC provides the data either by CSV\Spreadsheet or an API.

Initial I thought importing the data dumps would be a good way forward, however after playing with the API, it looks like this might be a much better way forward. Below is a PowerShell script I knocked up to test the API out.


It’s really good to see that APIs are being generated, its just a shame these aren’t being embedded directly into the software. Still, its a long journey, but at least its started.

Is today Day Zero or Day One?

This might sound pretty pointless and silly but when talking about a 20 working day SLA a day can mean alot between a massive fine or compliance.

During one of my driving lessons with Gary we were talking about his recent streak of passes. The conversation then lead on to pass rates and us wondering how this broken down – for example, by gender, ethnicity, age, driving instructor type (intense driving school \ chain \ individual driving instructor \ family etc).

Still curious, I decided to send off an a FOI request, before doing so, I went looking to see if someone else has which lead me to find some rather shocking data (see the bottom of the post). For those who don’t know, FOI stands for Freedom of Information. This is where Joe Public can request (reasonable) information from the public sector – after all, it is your (tax) money that they are spending. Logging FOI is dead straightforward thanks to WhatDoTheyKnow. Anyway, the Freedom of Information Act requires them (public sector folks) to reply within 20 working days.

First question. If I log a call on Sunday, what day is day one? So firstly, Sunday doesn’t count. It’s not a weekday. So Monday’s day 1? That’s what I would think, and it’s even what WhatDoTheyKnow says, but the DVLA say its the Tuesday. After a few emails between them both, I went off an ask ICO, Information Commissioner’s Office who’s responsible for these things. Here is their response

counting the first working day after a valid request is received as the first day

So, if you log a FOI over the weekend, they receive it on the Monday, that’s Day Zero. Day One is actually the second day.

They also say

Working day means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or public holidays and bank holidays; this may or may not be the same as the days they are open for business or staff are in work.


So its important that public sector don’t close for extra days as they risk eating into that time they have to respond to FOI request and failure to reply can (ultimately) result in fines.

Going off topic – there are some determined people in Suffolk who really want to drive.

Source: FOI request via WhatDoTheyKnow



So I’ve been playing wit mapping data, one of the nice things about GitHub is that it supports GeoJSON and automatically renders it

With the mapping data already imported into Geography in SQL Server it was easy enough to convert to GeoJSON (Stackoverflow to the rescue again!)

Technical Analysis on Schools websites in England

So in my last blog post I asked, are you ready for IPv6? The post came about when I was looking at Schools MIS data, which Graham, Joshua and myself have being look at to see who are the big movers and shakers in the Schools administration software (MIS) arena. Data is collected by what software suppliers a school uses to submit the School Census (in England) which is requested under the Freedom of Information (FOI) from Department of Education(DfE) (saving having to FOI every individual school). In order to enhance this data I was joining the data onto the general schools data that can be extract from EduBase. Looking at the data I notice that the website addresses listed in the extract was of extremely poor quality. A number even had email addresses listed!

This got me thinking, are schools ready for IPv6? If Sky are running out of IPv4 addresses and offer IPv6 only connections at a lower price, how many parents are going to jump on the deal only to find out they can’t access their child’s school website later on. After a bit of scripting and a support call to Mythic-Beasts to enable a response in JSON that I could automate, I had the results. It wasn’t good.

Still, no-ones ready for IPv6 are they, sure they’ll be ready in time. Won’t they?

We can only judge the future from what we have suffered in the past

Themistocles , 300: Rise of an Empire

To this effect, I’ve gathered data to look at:

  • šDomain registration correctness
  • šContent management systems
  • šDocument type definition
  • šRaw HTML homepage size
  • šGoogle Analytics
  • šIPv6 readiness

At the moment I’m still creating the presentation detailing my findings, but you can download the raw data from: