Socitm to discuss tech challenges posed by health reform

Socitm has been commissioned by the Department of Health (DH) to run a series of events to identify the information and technology changes needed to support health and social care reform.

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Socitm has been commissioned by the Department of Health (DH) to run a series of events to identify the information and technology changes needed to support health and social care reform.

The Care Act 2014 aims to integrate health and social care services to provide better, more personalised support at home and earlier treatment to prevent people needing emergency care.

The legislation was signed into law in May and will come into effect in April 2015.

Socitm, which represents public sector IT managers, said the events this autumn will help to plan local preparation activities and implementation needed to prepare for the changes.

'Significant challenges'

The association warned: “Local authorities face significant challenges as they ready themselves for the new legislation.”

For example, councils will need to ensure they have case record management systems in place which can handle a more personalised approach to care.

They will also need to provide better social services and health information online and consider security and privacy implications of sharing more health and care data.

To help prepare, Socitm will bring together local authority CIOs, social care professionals, specialists in care information systems and other stakeholders at the events.

There will be a summit in Leeds on 25 September and another in London on 8 October, followed by regional workshops in November and December, Socitm said.

Discussion topics

Topics to be discussed at the events include the ‘future state’ of integrated health and social care, the integrated care record, the role of open standards, big data analytics, architectural frameworks for new systems and multi-agency information governance.

The participants will consider links to other agendas and initiatives such as the Public Services Network, NHSmail and digital inclusion.

The discussion will be informed by the findings of the fourteen health and social care ‘integration pioneers’ chosen last November to test new ways of delivering coordinated care.

The initiatives are being run in areas across the UK including Barnsley, Southend, Leeds, Islington and Cornwall and will help to inform wider rollout next year.

The Socitm events follow a series of discussions in June and July hosted by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

Martin Ferguson, Socitm’s policy and research director, said: “Socitm is delighted to be involved in this collaboration with the Department of Health. We have been working alongside the ADASS Information Management Group over the past year on the implications of health and social care reform.

He added: “A series of reports on aspects of health and social care reform and the implications for IT and digital practitioners is also in preparation by Socitm, while new approaches to co-ordinated care will be showcased on our online Innovation platform. These resources will usefully support our programme of summits and workshops.”

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