A new Integrated Care web portal solution from Northgate Public Services (NPS) will help people to manage their own care by giving them access to self-assessment, advice, support planning, community networking and purchasing tools. It will also enable them to find out if they are entitled to funded care through an on-line financial assessment facility.
The new Integrated Care solution is being launched by NPS as the new Care Act 2015 comes into force this month (April). The web portal helps to support the key aims of the Act, which places particular emphasis on the promotion of wellbeing and preventing the need for social care support. It highlights the importance of helping people to make informed choices and enabling them to manage their own care and support.
Funding reforms and rights to assessment by carers are expected to create a considerable increase in the number of assessments carried out by local authorities, at a time when budgets are already stretched. NPS Integrated Care will help meet this demand at lower cost.
NPS Integrated Care allows people to complete an assessment on-line and provides them with personalised information and advice to help them make the right choices. They are able to create a support plan, manage personal budgets and care accounts and purchase equipment and services. It will also help to reduce social isolation by connecting people with each other and with relevant services – all from a single portal. This way, people are put in control of their own care and wellbeing.
A particular feature of NPS Integrated Care is that it enables information about people to be accessed by key agencies involved in their care, subject to appropriate permissions. This provides a more joined-up and personalised experience for citizens.
NPS Integrated Care is different from other solutions as it is fully integrated with the back-office database. It ensures information entered into the portal is available to practitioners using the social care case management solution too, so they have a more complete picture of people in the local area, whether they are funded service users, self-funders, carers or those with lower-level needs. It provides a valuable source of intelligence to plan and manage future demand on the care system.
While the Care Act is England-focused, NPS Integrated Care has been designed to also meet the requirements of key care legislation across Scotland and Wales.
NPS Integrated Care also supports children and families. For example, adoptive families, looked after children, young carers and families of children with special educational needs, can use NPS Integrated Care to find information, assess, plan and manage the support they need. It can provide early help to children and families, helping them to avoid reaching crisis point.
A joined-up approach enables multiple agencies to coordinate care by having access to a single source of data – for example in the development of education, health and care plans.
Trevor Hampton, Director of Local Government and Housing Solutions, said: “Integrated Care is being launched at a time when local authorities are committed to meeting all the requirements of the new Care Act. By enabling people to assess their own care needs on-line through a joined up facility, we can help to meet the needs of the Care Act and enable people to play a bigger role in managing their own support.
“At the same time, different agencies, including GPs, housing officers, nurses and social workers can have access to the same information so that they can talk to each other and provide better support to people. Our new Integrated Care portal offers a new way of approaching care and understanding the needs of the wider community. It will lead to improved communication and interaction between all parties, resulting in better care and preventing, or delaying, the need for care and support.”