The Welsh government is investing £6.7 million to develop an IT system to link health and social care services around the country.

The money will support the development of the ‘Community Care Information Solution’, which will be based on CareWorks’ social care information system CareDirector.

Bridgend County Borough Council is the first local authority to begin installing the system, and will be used as a benchmark to create a national infrastructure. This will replace existing systems at all of Wales’ 22 local authorities and seven health boards.

Once this infrastructure has been developed, local councils and health boards will be able to purchase the system at a reduced price in comparison to the regular cost of replacing a system because licences and hardware will have been paid for.

A spokesperson for the NHS Wales Informatics Service told Digital Health News that Bridgend is planning to deploy before the end of the 2015, while “other organisations are working through their readiness plans”.

Wales has a unified ‘once for Wales’ approach to IT systems used in the country, which has seen the patient administration system Myrddin installed at six of its seven health boards and a national  picture archiving and communications service deal with Fujifilm.  

The new Community Care Information Solution adds to these efforts, with the Welsh government saying it will support information sharing requirements, case management and workflow for the organisations across Wales.

NWIS said the new system will be able to interface with a variety of IT systems in use across local authorities and NHS organisations, tracking patients within their treatment journey.

The investment was announced by health and social services minister Mark Drakeford. “This new system has been developed in response to the growing need to integrate health and social care. It will allow professionals in social care, community health and mental health to access and share information across organisational boundaries,” he said.

The investment is part of a £14.9m package of Welsh government funding for NWIS. The other part of the funding was announced in January this year, with £8.5 million set aside to enable several health boards to purchase CT and MRI scanning equipment.