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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Bridgend Council first to implement new community care IT system

Written by The Editorial Team

Wales' ground-breaking new IT system for health and social care has been switched on by Bridgend County Borough Council.

This was the first implementation of the new Welsh Community Care Information System (WCCIS) system and the start of a process that will pave the way for Wales' other 21 local authorities and seven health boards.

When fully implemented across Wales It will overcome the obstacles posed when organisations use different IT systems by securely storing important information covering a range of issues such as community nursing, health and social care visits, mental health, learning disabilities, substance misuse, complex care needs or social care therapy.

Besides support for the system's procurement, NHS Wales Informatics Service is working with councils and health boards to manage the core infrastructure and to coordinate implementation plans and dates.
 
WCCIS is made possible through £6.5 million funding from Welsh Government.
 
Sue Cooper, Director of Social Services and Wellbeing, Bridgend County Borough Council said: "Each local authority and health organisation use a variety of IT systems, and this was clearly ineffective in facilitating collaboration between Health and Social Care.
 
"The Welsh Community Care Information System overcomes this by taking details from each organisation's system and integrating them into a single national system that makes it possible - on a need to know basis and with the relevant consent of individuals - for information to be shared securely between health and social care services."  
 
This work was supplemented by some assistance provided by the South East Wales Consortium (a collection of six local authorities that use a social care IT system called SWIFT) and Ceredigion County Council. This assistance made a big difference to the Bridgend efforts. It also demonstrated how organisations from across Wales are recognising the importance of working together to deliver the WCCIS.
 
Being the first organisation to implement WCCIS has meant that Bridgend has had to deal with a wide range of issues and new learning that will be shared with other implementing organisations.
  
The next implementing organisations are Ceredigion County Council, Powys Health Board and Powys County Council. These bodies have commenced their implementation processes with plans in place for Ceredigion County Council to go live in August, with Powys Health Board and Local Authority planning to undertake a joint implementation in November.