Scottish Executive’s SWIFT Move For Social Care Integration

Public sector IT provider Anite and the Scottish Executive have signed a national contract that aims to deliver inter-agency access to health and social care information. Anite’s contract with the Scottish Executive means that in nine local authorities its social care product SWIFT will be integrated with Scotland’s eCare Multi-Agency Stores which hold health and social care information.

The deal has been negotiated by the Scottish Executive on behalf of the local authorities all of whom will be required to adhere to a set of national standards governed by the Executive. Anite says the local authorities will benefit from a more integrated and cost-effective implementation process and social care practitioners will have access to data from other agencies within a framework of consent.

Hazel McMorrow, head of Performance and Resources at Stirling Council and chair of the SWIFT user group, said the national contract was a significant milestone in achieving the effective sharing of data across the Scottish public sector.

She added: “By integrating information systems, service providers will be able to work more effectively with colleagues from other agencies. The benefits include better-informed services, enhanced decision-making processes and, ultimately, improved outcomes for citizens receiving social care.”

The contract, described as the first of its kind in Scotland, ensures that Anite’s product set will integrate with the Scottish Executive’s eCare Framework which aims to provide public sector agencies and their technology partners with a single strategic approach to enable secure multi-agency information sharing.

The joint procurement approach is viewed as a model for the future. Peter Russell, head of the Efficient Government Group at the Scottish Executive, said shared procurement represented a significant financial opportunity in aggregating and optimising public sector spending in Scotland.

He added: “This model of procurement is one that could be used for any vendor who has multiple instances of their product in Scotland. The approach aligns well with the recently published shared services strategy.”

Mike Kingswood, managing director of local government at Anite, said that it had been clear for some time that doing business with the public sector in Scotland was changing,

He added: “This contract is key to improving information sharing in a multi-agency environment and opens the door for local authorities to share a whole range of cost-effective services in the future.”