Welsh Government funds £6.7m IT system to integrate health and social care

The new system will support information sharing and case management between health and social care practitioners

Photo: Marcie Casas/Flickr

Health and social care practitioners in Wales will be able to share information instantly following the Welsh Government’s £6.7m investment in a new IT system.

The Community Care Information Solution (CCIS) will replace the range of systems currently used by Wales’ 22 local authorities and seven health boards to record data on service users.

It is being introduced to support the integration of health and social services across the country and will support information sharing, case management and workflow between organisations.

This includes covering processes undertaken by practitioners working across primary, community and secondary care settings, to show whereabouts a patient is in the system. The aim is to alert professionals to key data, which will then aid them in planning and delivering effective support and services for individuals and their families.

‘Fragmented systems’

Dave Street, resources and commissioning lead for the Association of Directors of Social Services in Wales (ADSS Cymru), said the system would give professionals a “far more rounded picture of a person’s needs” than they have currently.

“Integration in Wales is one of the fundamental aspects of the forthcoming Social Services and Wellbeing Act and what we’ve always needed is an IT system that can act as the foundation stone for that,” he said.

“At the moment, information sharing is fragmented and a little unwieldy in terms of the mechanisms we have to follow, so a single system should make those responsibilities a lot easier for frontline staff.”

‘Growing need’

The £6.7m capital grant will be given to Bridgend County Borough Council to take forward the first phase of implementation. The council will be responsible for creating a national infrastructure to enable all social care and health organisations to use the new system.

The national hardware and all-Wales licences will also be covered by the grant, which should reduce costs to councils and health boards when they replace existing systems.

Mark Drakeford, minister for health and social services in Wales, said the system had been developed in response to the “growing need” to integrate health and social care services.

“It will allow professionals in social care, community health and mental health to access and share information across organisational boundaries, making it easier for these services to work together to deliver improved services and support for people across Wales,” he said.

The investment is part of the £14.9m package of Welsh Government capital funding for the NHS, which was announced in January this year.

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