Swansea Rolls Out Social Care System To Reduce Duplication

Swansea City Council has implemented a system that enables its social workers to see whether other parts of the public sector have assessed their clients’ needs. Social workers and healthcare practitioners will be able to see whether someone has already been assessed, but the assessments will not be shared unless the people who create them give their permission. The Paris system from software supplier in4tek was chosen to comply with the Welsh Assembly Government’s demand for a Unified Assessment Process (UAP) in social care.

The UAP is the Welsh equivalent of England’s Single Assessment Process for children. Swansea is the first local authority in Wales to go live with a system that enables both health and social care practitioners to discover whether their clients have already had their needs assessed by someone else.

Neither the devolved government in Wales nor Swansea City Council knew how many duplicate assessments were being carried out before Paris was launched.

Since the system went live in June this year, 750 assessments have been completed within the council’s catchment area.

The council has 300 practitioners using the system. A further 4,000 community and ward staff employed by the local Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust also use Paris.

The electronic assessment system was piloted with Bro Morgannwg’s Learning Disability Service before being rolled out to Swansea social services.

The implementation in Swansea has so far cost £1.35m, of which £850,000 has come from the Welsh Assembly Government. The remaining £500,000 was from the council’s own funds.

Swansea plans to enhance its Paris system to comply with extra targets set by the devolved government. The council will begin by implementing risk management into its assessment process.

By the end of the year Paris will be extended to cover children and mentally ill elderly people. In 2007, it will be linked to Swansea’s financial management system for social care. Council officers will use a part of Paris called Paris Finance to integrate the two systems.

The council wants to introduce electronic social care records based on Paris. It aims to extend the scope of its business intelligence tool Business Objects to include Paris.

The UAP system will be deployed to some social workers via mobile devices.