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Northgate Information Solutions today announces the successful delivery of an Integrated Children’s System (ICS) for Hartlepool Borough Council, which aims to improve social care services and help safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in the borough.

Under a contract worth £700,000 over 5 years, Northgate, in partnership with Liquidlogic and Hartlepool Borough Council, has implemented and is supporting the ICS for Hartlepool’s Children’s Services Department. The implementation of the ICS is an integral part of the council’s commitment to the government’s Every Child Matters programme, and will enable future joint working with partner organisations such as Primary Care Trusts, doctors and the police – key steps in improving outcomes for children and young people.

The ICS will deliver many key improvements and benefits for children, young people and their families in Hartlepool, and the council, including:

• total security of information, with only authorised, professional users able to access information and only specific and relevant data ever being displayed

• enabling practitioners to concentrate on important issues in a case, by gathering and delivering the information that they need, when they need it, and in an easily understood form – ensuring efficient and effective use of time and resources

• allowing out-of-hours staff, such as emergency duty teams, access to assessments and other work done by the case worker – ensuring continuity and saving vital time

• directly alerting staff and managers when key events (for instance, assessments and reviews) are approaching, due or overdue, and triggering alerts for defined changes or warnings – such as adults who may constitute a threat to a child or front-line worker, or when a child comes into public care, the system can automatically populate the relevant information into external agencies

• providing a common and coherent set of key processes that front line staff and their managers can adopt – from first contact with a child and family, through assessment and interventions, to review – improving multi-agency workflow and information sharing, which ensures that nothing is missed

• the capability to connect to Contactpoint (the national child index) and implement the Electronic Common Assessment Framework (e-CAF) support systems

The ICS has been implemented for 141 professional users, including Children & Families Teams, the Young Persons Service, the Disability Team, Safeguarding Unit, Placement Team and Leaving Care Team.

Paul Walker, Chief Executive of Hartlepool Borough Council, said today:

“We always aim to make the most of new technology, and this system will help us to keep improving the services we provide to children, young people and their families. As our strategic partner, Northgate already provides technology services to over 40 educational sites in Hartlepool, including primary and secondary schools. Through partnerships with other organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, we aim to become one of the first truly joined up councils, making the best possible improvements to the lives of local people.”

James Turnbull, Managing Director of Infrastructure Solutions at Northgate Managed Services, added:
“The ICS is a significant example of how local authorities can, by working in partnership with the private sector, improve the delivery of social care services to vulnerable people through the intelligent use of technology. It will also help facilitate the sharing of information and multi-agency working, which is essential for effective risk management and will ultimately safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in our communities.”

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For more information:

Fellows’ Associates:

Kathy Sutton 020 7849 3403 / 07966 890401/ ksutton@fellowsassociates.com
Naomi Stevenson 020 7849 3508 / 07966 890403/ nstevenson@fellowsassociates.com

Notes to Editors:

1) Northgate Information Solutions is a leading provider of ICT and managed services solutions and software to the public services, utilities markets and corporate markets. Whether business process outsourcing, full IT outsourcing or managing specific needs such as application or web-hosting, desktop management or data-centre systems, Northgate advises clients on how to maximise the value of their information technology assets. Founded in 1969, the company has over 6,000 employees.

www.northgate-is.com/managedservices

2) Northgate Education (www.northgate-is.com/education) is the second largest provider of managed services in the UK. It provides technology services to over 1,200 schools, with more than 350,000 teachers and learners successfully supported by the company. Northgate provides services to over 40 education sites in Hartlepool; to every school in Northern Ireland through C2k, the largest and most comprehensive e-learning initiative ever implemented in the UK; and is providing ICT managed services to Bristol City Council as part of the government's Building Schools for the Future Programme (BSF).

3) In implementing and supporting the ICS, Northgate is using a software platform, PROTOCOL, provided by its partners, Liquidlogic.

4) Hartlepool Borough Council, a unitary authority serving a 91,000-plus population, has been top-rated by the independent watchdog The Audit Commission continuously since 2002. Based on the national performance indicators for councils, Hartlepool is among the best performing local authorities in the country.



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