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Leeds pushes for Ripple momentum



City council's CIO highlights potential for wider use of model for integrated health and social care record

Leeds City Council is encouraging other public authorities to use the model it has adopted for its integrated health and social care record.

Its chief information officer, Dylan Roberts, said that other public authorities can take up the model used in the Leeds Care Record and adapt it for their own requirements, using the Ripple platform that is hosted by the council with support from the NHS Tech Fund.

Roberts said that one other local authority is currently considering adoption and the council is in discussions with other public bodies, but the potential for further development will come as more organisations take up the model.

“This is an alternative to the closed systems you have to buy from vendors,” Roberts told UKAuthority. “You need to use a diversity of back end systems across a place.

“If we get the momentum it forces vendors to work towards open APIs (application programming interfaces), and means that when buying systems in the future authorities will have the capabilities to do the job.

Five features

He said that Ripple, launched in the autumn of last year, is still in development and includes five main features: an open requirements documents on what is needed for integrated care; an open governance document for sharing information across organisations; a specification for open APIs; a free downloadable open care record viewer; and specification on citizen requirements, although this is a work in progress.

Roberts said the Leeds Care Record, which was introduced in October 2013, is now used by all the GP surgeries in the city, along with a number of other agencies in areas such as mental health, community health and social care.

In his presentation to the Socitm Spring Conference, Roberts said it has been developed to look beyond the regular boundaries of health and social care, explaining what it could do for a hypothetical elderly resident named Bob.

“It's about the whole circle of care, how we enable groups to focus on delivering better outcomes, and how we enable Bob to look after himself using technology” he said.

“From the technology point of view, our approach is platform based. Its aim is that partners can interact to deliver services.”

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