The Orkney Islands Council Community Social Services Department and NHS Orkney have announced that they will work in partnership to introduce a shared information management system to support integrated care on PARIS, a system provided by social and community health system specialist in4tek.

Orkney is introducing the system in line with the Scottish Executive’s commitment to make all services available electronically and integrated by 2005. The new system will replace current social care and community health information systems that rely on some databases and paper.

The starting point for the project came from consultation with the citizens of Orkney, who requested to have straightforward access to a comprehensive range of services from a single point.

Working with in4tek to implement this shared information management system will allow the health and social sectors of Orkney to provide an appropriate person-centred care system holding as much information as each individual is willing to share. It is anticipated this will significantly reduce the amount of form filling required by members of the public.

Based on establishing a ‘One Stop Shop’ for Orkney, the project is intended to better serve an isolated and rural community. Phase one of the project will focus on occupational therapy, social services, children’s services, adults and homecare, finance, nursing, health visitors and community psychiatric nursing. Further services will be progressively added in 2004 when the system will be extended to include inpatients and appointment booking.

The Department of Community Social Services employs over 500 full and part time staff throughout the Orkney Islands and is responsible for the provision of a full range of social care services. These include services to children and families, the criminal justice system and meeting all community care needs.

Orkney is the UK’s smallest county consisting of 67 islands – 18 are inhabited, some seven miles north of the Scottish mainland and has a resident population of approximately 20,000 spread across the area. Orkney is the sixth council in the UK to adopt the PARIS system in the past 12 months.

Commenting on the Orkney contract award in4tek’s Chief Executive, Tom Nawojczyk said, “We are delighted Orkney chose PARIS as the vehicle with which to move towards the ESCR. In PARIS we have produced a citizen centric system that is in line with Government strategy to provide the technology to support the integration of the delivery of care.

PARIS is a new Oracle based solution, developed by Altrincham based software and services provider in4tek in partnership with South and East Belfast Health and Social Services Trust, which utilises Oracle 8i Enterprise Edition. In4tek are working closely with Oracle to ensure that Paris is compatible with Oracle 9i and its associated modules that will support future integration of Health and Social Care information.