1 Information Gateway

By Holly Palmer,2014-07-11 15:47
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1 Information Gateway ...

    Evaluation of Invest to Save Budget

    Case Study Report Project 2/54 Partnership in Action Barnsley Information Gateway

    ISB Case Study Report: Project 2/54 - Partnership

    in Action Barnsley - Information Gateway

    Background to the project and history of partnership working

    1.1 The key focus of this project is to establish a common source of shared information that can

    be used to deliver more effective, more user focused and more cost efficient services on

    behalf of the existing Partnership in Action Barnsley (PIAB). The project lead is Barnsley

    Metropolitan Borough Council. Membership of Partnership in Action Barnsley comprises a

    number of agencies across the health and social community which deliver over ?70m of

    services between them on an annual basis:

    ? Barnsley Metropolitan Council

    ? Barnsley Health Authority

    ? Barnsley Community and Priority Services NHS Trust

    1? Barnsley District General Hospital NHS Trust

    ? Two Primary Care Groups (PCGs).

    1.2 In April 2002 the two PCGs, Barnsley Health Authority and Barnsley Community and

    Priority Services NHS Trust will merge to form a Primary Care Trust (PCT). The Joint

    Agencies Group (JAG) oversees PIAB using powers delegated by Barnsley Metropolitan

    Borough Council and Barnsley Health Authority.

    1.3 By April 2002, integrated teams will deliver all the above health and social care services

    financed by pooled budgets. To achieve a co-ordinated and integrated service, staff and

    officers from different organisations will need to work in partnership. The necessary changes

    to working relationships is a challenge to PIAB organisations and the aim is for the

    ‘Information Gateway’ to facilitate and support this process.

    1.4 Currently the different agencies that make up PIAB have different computer and management

    information systems. This project will support the integration of the information from these

     1 Whilst not officially a PIAB member they are considered one for the purposes of this project


    Evaluation of Invest to Save Budget

    Case Study Report Project 2/54 Partnership in Action Barnsley Information Gateway

    disparate IT systems, meaning that client information can be consolidated and can be

    presented in a consistent format. The direct beneficiaries of the project are staff working in

    social and health care services who will be able to access more comprehensive and up-to-date

    information on their clients and the myriad of services they might be receiving. This in turn

    will have a knock on impact and should improve the level and nature of services that clients


    1.5 The transition to new working arrangements will be supported through the creation of the

    ‘Information Gateway’ which will create the common information source. This ‘Gateway’

    will have a number of specific functions:

    ? bring together records from the Council’s Social Services Department and National

    Health Service

    ? enable single personal records to be created from information provided by all the

    agencies IT systems

    ? provide a common source of information for the planning and delivery of services

    along ‘care pathways’ created by the joint commissioning process

    ? provide information quickly and in an easily usable form ? in future improve accessibility to information from a wider information ‘community’

    including services such as housing and education.

    1.6 This particular project focuses on the delivery of services to older people. The main focus

    will be sharing information between those working within Older People’s Services and the

    impact of that data exchange upon working practices.

    1.7 The project received confirmation of funding from the ISB Unit in May 2000. Approximately

    one-third (34%) of project costs amounting to ?480,000 are being met by Barnsley

    Metropolitan Borough Council and Barnsley Health Authority with the remainder (918,000)

    coming from ISB funding via the Department of Health.

    1.8 The partnership strongly believes that this project goes beyond the idea of joint

    commissioning of services. The project seeks to integrate services within an integrated whole

    system. The final bid document identifies that other partnerships around the country have

    integrated some of their services, however, it argues that there is no evidence of that any have

    taken a whole systems approach to such a wide range of services as this project will.


    Evaluation of Invest to Save Budget

    Case Study Report Project 2/54 Partnership in Action Barnsley Information Gateway

    1.9 The partnerships has identified that this project is innovative in a number of ways, particularly

    in terms of service delivery and the application of new technologies. They highlight a

    number of specific areas such as:

    ? integration of information not a new challenge but something that is nevertheless

    complex. Existing data sources need to be reconciled and a new system needs to be

    able to serve a wide range of purposes

    ? streamlining services the development of a single assessment process, a single care

    record and single review system, ultimately supported by the information gateway

    whilst seeming to be simple common sense will transform the delivery of services

    for both patients and providers

    ? making sense of information gathered the common information source is a

    powerful tool for analysing performance and benchmarking

    ? electronic delivery of services the system will use the latest technology to create

    and rationalise files. It will greatly increase the electronic delivery of information

    ? security and confidentiality to challenge the Data Protection and Caldicott

    principles as part of the integration of information systems.

    1.10 Funding levels within the partnership were such that a project of this scale and nature would

    not have gone ahead without ISB funding. The Partnership in Action Barnsley would have

    proceeded but would have been a much slower piecemeal approach. Essentially the concept

    of the ‘Information Gateway’ was being discussed in Barnsley but until the ISB bidding

    round there was no funding available to take it forward at the level required.

    Project initiation, design and specification

    1.11 The partnership’s bid document determined a number of outputs they wished to result from

    the ‘Information Gateway’ project.

    ? a common information system across five programme areas

    ? integrated planning and delivery of services

    ? a single assessment process


    Evaluation of Invest to Save Budget

    Case Study Report Project 2/54 Partnership in Action Barnsley Information Gateway

    ? a single visible record for each client

    ? fully trained staff committed to the new working systems ? a single collated database for need analysis

    ? common definition of service need for benchmarking

    ? working documents for dissemination to a wider audience.

    1.12 As can be seen from the above, the ‘Information Gateway’ is a vision of how the partnership

    would like to see information systems integrated and services developed. There have been a

    number of changes in personnel over the lifetime of the project as well as a number of

    changes in direction. The project has required a long development process which has

    involved the identification of a private sector partner to help the partnership design a system

    that will help them reach their vision and support them at the implementation stage.

    1.13 A number of project risks are identified in the project initiation document:

    ? failure to recruit and retain staff of the right quality ? finding solutions to security and confidentiality of information ? cultural resistance to new working practices, e.g. setting up multi-disciplinary teams ? individual resistance to the introduction of new technology ? practical difficulties with the deployment of emerging technologies ? selecting, procuring and implementing the required systems including the potential

    delays in agreeing contracts/partnerships arrangements with the private sector and

    delivery targets being met

    ? delays in assembling the funding package.

    1.14 The same document outlines the ways in which these risks will be minimised. However,

    whilst delays in the procurement process were identified as a risk they have nevertheless

    occurred this is outlined in more detail below. Other risks are an integral part of the