Computerized care system keeping staff away from Powys Council

The poor performance of a computer system used to organize care in Wales has caused some staff to leave the Powys Council, members have heard.

In May, the council learned that the Welsh Community Care Information System was proving to be ‘unreliable’.

The multi-million pound IT investment, provided by the Welsh government to fully integrate healthcare and social services in Wales, is supposed to mean that community nurses, mental health teams, social workers and therapists can share electronic records so they know where a patient is with their treatment.

But in the Powys, it caused headaches for users and the board – and has now been the main cause of the departure of some in authority, a meeting said.

Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, portfolio holder of Adult Social Care, Welsh and Communications, said at a Powys County Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday July 27: ‘This remains a major concern, it is something that makes it harder for people to perform well.

“This system regularly fails because people use it, Covid has not been the only thing we are fighting against.”

The board’s director of people development and organization, Ali Bulman, said: “It’s the one thing that really puts pressure on staff and impacts their morale and motivation.

“We have had employees who left citing the use of this system as one of the main reasons for leaving. ”

Ms Bulman added that a number of meetings to discuss the issues had taken place with the system provider and the WCCIS national team, representatives of the Welsh government and the Deputy Minister (Julie Morgan MS.)

As software repair work continues, Bulman said other options need to be considered, including modifying systems.

“It is becoming untenable for the service,” Ms. Bulman said.

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Gordon K. Morehouse