“Single View has literally saved children’s lives at St Helens”
St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council is located in Merseyside and has a population of 176,000. The Council went live with the Liquidlogic Children’s Social Care System (LCS) in 2009 and then went on to procure both the Liquidlogic Early Help Module (EHM) in 2010 and Liquidlogic Adults’ Social Care System (LAS) which it deployed in 2011.
Joined up Approach
The Children and Young People’s Department was created in St Helens in 2005, this brought together social care, education and early years functions. One of the challenges that faced this newly amalgamated department was that a number of different IT systems were already in place and being used. Immediately there was an identified requirement for a Single System for case recording and management.
St Helens Council outlined their requirements for a solution which could utilise data from disparate IT systems to present the holistic view of a child. The Council opted to use the Liquidlogic SingleView solution in order to achieve this.
Liquidlogic worked closely with both the Council and its other systems providers, including Capita, to ensure that SingleView contained relevant information. Speaking about the implementation Mike Roberts, Central Systems Support Team Manager at St Helens comments:
"Liquidlogic was quick to address issues during implementation and happy to approach our partners to achieve solutions quickly, instead of passing the buck. SingleView by its nature is a very low impact implementation. It sits on existing architecture which we already had for our other Liquidlogic systems. We had a custom element added allowing SingleView to access a security token server which meant that the Council could deploy SingleView to our partner organisations. This enabled us to extend SingleView’s benefits to partners involved in early help and not just internal officers."
SingleView in Action
The strategic decision was taken to populate the Liquidlogic SingleView system using APIs to obtain live data from all other IT systems and where discrepancies are identified, data from the Capita Education system is the default information which is used to populate SingleView. Users of SingleView are able to see a read only view of demographic data, schools data, child protection and looked after details, professional involvements, provisions, basic chronology and relationships. Mike Roberts goes on to say:
"We have been using SingleView at St Helens since 2010 and it has highlighted numerous cases where social services have been able to intervene at an earlier stage by effective and joined up communication and use of the system. SingleView has literally saved children’s lives at St Helens."
The Council now plans to embed the Liquidlogic SingleView in adults’ processes as it has been with children’s. Mike Roberts says:
"With renewed pressure to work more closely with Health and other partners in Adult social care, SingleView will be invaluable in giving practitioners access to datasets they have only ever dreamed of. This will allow us to realise the benefits Children’s Services are already experiencing in the adults’ department too.
We are also looking at expanding the datasets available in SingleView using the Common User Interface (CUI) toolkit. We are in discussions with other divisions of the authority to identify information which is of use to Children’s Services and looking at the data can be shared on SingleView from an IMG point of view."
St Helens’ Top Tips:
- Agree an approach beforehand with all agencies.
- Engage with relevant suppliers early in the planning stages.
- Ensure processes are mapped and shared with all relevant users.
- Identify required linked systems as early as possible.
- CUI can be used to link additional systems with relative ease, but is more generic than a custom integration piece. So make sure you look at both options.