Three London councils are planning to integrate social and health care case data to improve the efficiency and productivity of staff in the organisations' adult care and children's care departments.
Westminster City Council is developing and testing the system which, if successful, will be rolled out to shared services organisation Tri-borough, operated jointly by Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
Richard Biscoe, Project Manager in Adult Social Care at Westminster City Council told Local Digital that a single system could prove particularly useful in cases where clients have moved between local authority boundaries. Plans are also in place to integrate healthcare data into the system in future, but Biscoe said that this was "complicated" so timings were uncertain.
The next step is to enable mobile working with tablet computers connected to the system, he said, to reduce the need to travel between clients' homes, hospitals and the office. While it was too early to look at overall potential cost savings from the rollout, he said that the system could save around 12 hours a week on travel alone for some staff.
Westminster, which is using Frameworki, a workflow-based case management system from Corelogic, has already investigated the needs of its 250 adult social care staff with its partner Tigerspike. The research entailed shadowing staff at various locations as they performed tasks to understand the ways in which technology could improve efficiency. The lessons learned so far were presented at last week's Local Digital 'Digital Futures' event.
Tri-borough is also exploring plans to allow residents to fill in forms on http://www.peoplefirstinfo.org.uk/ which will feed directly in to the shared system after submission. The site, aimed at residents of the Tri-borough area, aims to improve 'early intervention' by providing information on services and products to reduce instances of people reaching 'crisis point' and therefore relieve pressure on the health and care systems.
Other Tri-borough initiatives to bring together disparate systems to save resources include a shared procurement framework agreement allowing councils to jointly purchase IT, expected to save the group £3m by 2016.