Public Bodies Plan Care Records Link

Twenty public sector bodies in the West Country aim to start implementing a system to share social care records electronically this summer. More than 10,000 staff across the 20 organisations will have access to the records of anyone with an assessment history living in Devon or Cornwall.

IBM and software supplier Esprit were awarded preferred bidder status for the contract in March. The deal is expected to be signed in August.

IBM’s Tivoli Access Manager will provide single sign-on for social workers. Interfaces to 20 separate underlying systems will be via an IBM Websphere application server and a SQL Server database.

“The system needs the consent of the individual. They can give two different levels of consent: a basic level of information and then further information,” said Keri Storey, the deputy director of health and social care for Devon County Council and Exeter Primary Care Trust.

The organisations involved in the scheme are the 10 NHS primary care trusts covering Devon and Cornwall, Devon’s three social services authorities and Cornwall’s seven authorities.

“We have looked at time saving and reductions in admissions to hospital. We think there will be a 15 minutes time saving per assessment [from data sharing],” said Devon County Council’s programme manager for the single assessment process Heather Eardley.