Barnsley Council and Liquidlogic, a McKesson company, have achieved integration of NHS and social care records using the Personal Demographics Service.
Using Liquidlogic’s adult social care management system, Barnsley is now able to match a person’s NHS and social care record through NHS number validation against the PDS on the Spine.
The council has been using Liquidlogic since May 2009 and went fully operational with the PDS integration last month.
Barnsley Council business information manager, Ian Fereday, said it took around 2.5 years to go through the common assurance process with NHS Connecting for Health.
Part of the Department of Health Social Care Personal Demographics Service Early Adopters programme, Barnsley is one of the first councils to go live with full integration.
It enables Barnsley’s social care workers and care practitioners to validate, in real-time, an individual’s NHS Number on their social care record against their health care record.
This means that people no longer have to be asked for their personal details every time they are visited and allows carers to ensure that they are talking about the same person across health and social care, thereby preventing duplication or inaccuracy across care records.
Fereday said there are six live users at the moment, and the council is in the process of issuing smartcards to 100-150 staff.
Staff can not only access the PDS, but can update patient details when they change.
Fereday said the initiative is the "cornerstone" of Barnsley’s aim to achieve integrated health and social care delivery.
The next stage involves an integration between Liquidlogic and TPP to enable care plans and assessments to be shared between social care workers, GPs and community staff such as district nurses.
Fereday expects this integration to go-live within a couple of months.
"At the moment we’re trying to prove the concept that information sharing supports seamless delivery of care, then look at how to improve and enhance that," he explained.
Liquidlogic sales director Jim Sullivan said the project demonstrates the type of joined-up working which so many local authorities and health providers aspire to.
"Having been through the compliance process with NHS Connecting for Health, we are now confident that our product is resilient and robust to deliver an integrated system," he added.