Better government co-ordination of electronic social care records needed, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services says

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has called for better cross-government co-ordination on electronic care record programmes.

David Johnstone, the body’s lead on IT, said Adass wanted to set up a cross-government forum in partnership with the department for education and skills and the NHS to ensure better co-ordination on electronic care record programmes between departments.

Johnstone made the call at Adass’ executive committee meeting at the organisation’s spring seminar this week.

Adass has just published a draft action plan on implementing electronic social care records. This came shortly after research by the organisation found English councils were facing significant barriers to implementing the records including a reluctance among frontline staff to stop using paper-based systems.

The draft plan, which was approved by the executive committee at the meeting, also proposes the production of a template business case identifying the benefits and costs of implementing electronic health and social care record systems.

An original target for implementing the electronic social care record (ESCR) for adults by October 2006 was quietly dropped by the Department of Health. Meanwhile last November, the Department for Education and Skills found many authorities were far from implementing its children’s equivalent – the integrated children’s system (ICS) – by a target of January 2007.

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