An NHS-style electronic record for social services clients could be introduced in Wales, according to Welsh health minister Dr Brian Gibbons.
Speaking to Community Care, Gibbons said information collected through the unified assessment process (UAP) – a tool used by health and care professionals to assess adult social services’ clients’ needs – could be stored on a national electronic database.
The UAP, which has been rolled out across Wales over the past two years, was initially a paper-based process but some authorities have recently migrated to recording data on computers.
However, social workers and health professionals in some areas have complained that the forms are too long and differ between organisations.
An overhaul of the UAP was one of the key proposals in the assembly government’s 10-year draft for social services strategy, published last week.
Gibbons said the database would work like the NHS patient record in that information would be stored on a secure website and accessed via the internet.
He added: “Lack of robust IT has been one of the big obstacles to making the UAP as useful as it should be. In every part of Wales it is still not quite part of routine practice in an easy-to-use format and it can be time-consuming and bureaucratic.”