Dublin-based supplier of health and social care software CareWorks has signed a €4.5m deal with several Welsh local authorities to deploy an electronic social care system designed to improve the delivery of services by social workers. The contract is one of the biggest social services IT contracts to be signed over the last three months.
CareWorks’ five-to-seven year contract with the Welsh Systems Consortium (WSC) covers the ongoing implementation, development, maintenance and support of the software.
The first local authority, Ceredigion County Council, went live on 10 May, with two other authorities due to go live in July.
CareWorks has delivered social services systems to 64 local authorities in the UK and Ireland since 1999. This implementation is regarded as a flagship e-government project for Wales, and is backed by the Welsh Assembly Government.
The WSC system is designed to improve the way in which social care professionals and their managers work by reducing paperwork, enabling better sharing of information via electronic record management, and encouraging ‘best practice’ across the consortium authorities. The system will have security features and be accessible by authorised individuals involved in all aspects of welfare and care work, including social workers, GPs, mental health workers, community care workers, and the police. Initially available in English, the partnership plans to provide a Welsh language version in the near future.
Jane Hutt, Minister for Health and Social Services, welcomed the initiative: “The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to the promotion of closer working relationships between health and social care professionals and the development of this system in seven authorities is a significant step forward. The opportunities it provides to share information, reduce duplication and for local authorities and partner agencies to work together will bring better care services and better outcomes to communities across Wales.”