Leicestershire Council Goes Hi-Tech With Social Care Case Files

Leicestershire County Council has implemented a new electronic documents and records management system to improve access to social services case files and other information.

The council is using web services to integrate its Oracle-based client index system with Morse’s Wisdom electronic documents and records management system, creating an information platform for electronic social care records that meets Department of Health guidelines.

Leicestershire previously held paper case files that were stored in a number of locations and were difficult to bring together and access.The new system is designed to gives social workers easy electronic access to 16,000 stored case files while creating a central digital repository for both structured and unstructured information, including photographs, videos and court notes.

More than 1,200 social workers based at 100 sites throughout Leicestershire are now using the system, since roll-out began at the beginning of the year. Another 300 staff will get access to the new system over the next few months.

The council’s IT and information manager Mick Harris said: “Being able to bring together and provide electronic access to records that were previously held in manila folders and boxes in different offices allows social workers to focus on providing a better service to our constituents rather than spending time searching for documents.”

Research carried out by the council since the implementation began found that nearly three quarters of staff were spending less time finding information, while 92% said the system had improved communication and visibility of case file information between social services teams.

Leicestershire is also using the Wisdom technology to create a central data repository for information published on its intranet, including human resources, management and business documents. Under its Customer First initiative, the council eventually aims to integrate all of its documents into a central electronic document and record management system.

This aim is to reduce duplication of data and ensure consistency, so that the same information is provided regardless of whether it is accessed through the council’s website, through a customer contact centre or other means. The project is expected to go live towards the end of the year.