Welsh government to invest £6.7 million in health and social care IT system

The Welsh government is set to start deploying a £6.7 million IT system to integrate health and social care this year, starting with Bridgend County Borough Council.

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The Welsh government is set to launch a £6.7 million IT system to integrate health and social care this year, health minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

The ‘Community Care Information Solution’ will allow information to be shared “instantly” across different Welsh health and social services, the government said in a statement. It will be based on software firm CareWorks’ social care management system ‘CareDirector’.

Bridgend County Borough Council led procurement for the system and will be the first to deploy it “before the end of 2015”, a spokesman said.  

Other authorities are “working through their readiness plans” and will adopt the system once a national infrastructure has been agreed.

The Welsh government said the new system will allow health, social services, mental health, therapy and community services to make sure care and support for patients are better planned, coordinated and delivered. It will support national requirements on information sharing, care management and workflow and will interface with a number of different systems across NHS and local organisations.

As national hardware and licences have been paid for by the £6.7 million grant, all local and health bodies can implement the new system “at a fraction of the normal costs of system replacement as they no longer have to pay for hardware or licences”, the statement added.

Five public bodies in South Wales are already sharing data via a scheme to identify vulnerable citizens launched last year.

Professor Drakeford said: “This new system has been developed in response to the growing need to integrate health and social care. It will allow professionals in social care, community health and mental health to access and share information across organisational boundaries”.

“Moving away from individual stand-alone systems will be of particular use in supporting emergency and out-of-hours services, and will enable health and social care services to work in a closer, far more effective manner,” said Bridgend council leader Mel Nott.

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