International Women’s Day: OLMers who #choosetochallenge the status quo

International Women’s Day celebrates women across the world and strives for gender equality. The theme for this year is #ChoosetoChallenge and this is something that we fully endorse as an organisation. We are fully committed to gender equality and offering equal opportunities which make a difference. Our core goal is to make a difference to those working in health and social care, with our team of OLMers behind us.

Strengths-based practice: Maximising potential and achieving results

In this article*, Peopletoo’s associate director Karen De Miranda Candeia provides a summary and analysis of implementing a strengths-based approach to social care delivery.

The roadmap out of lockdown is here, but are we ready for the challenges?

The long-awaited announcement finally arrived. Monday evening, the worst kept secret in political history was delivered to the British public. The roadmap that we were all hoping for arrived and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but will it please everyone?

OLM Systems awarded place on Scotland Excel Framework for Social Care Software Suppliers

OLM Systems, a leading software and services company supporting local authorities and supporting organisations, has been awarded approved supplier status on the Scotland Excel Framework for the supply and delivery of social care case management solutions software.

Share your love for all those working within health and social care this Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday and whilst it will not be the one that most of us have dreamed of it will be a day to show our love for everyone working within health and social care.

The City of Wolverhampton Council are live and ready for the future with ECLIPSE

The City of Wolverhampton Council has taken the ECLIPSE platform live for Children's Social Care to support their digital transformation and promote better outcomes.

OLM has been working since 1991 and this is our 30th year of making a difference

On the 30th May 1991, Peter O’Hara set up OLM with a thousand pounds in his pocket. He did so with a vision to make a difference to everyone working in health and social care. Nearly 30 years later and with a little extra grey in the hair, Peter is still here today, pushing forward with that vision.

Children's social care crisis continues, with top watchdog considering an investigation

Frontline chief executive Josh MacAlister – appointed by the government this month to head an independent review into children’s social care – revealed on Twitter yesterday that he had written to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), calling on it to carry out a study into the social care market.
Competition watchdog mulling probe into children’s social care market, Community

With the COVID-19 crisis ongoing, will this investigation, pushed forward by the government simply be a sticking plaster? Is it something that will produce results and the change which we all yearn for, or simply be another report that ends up on someone's desk, to be lost under a pile of other pressing reports?

Social Care to receive additional money for staffing

A new £120 million fund has been announced for local authorities to boost staffing levels.

The additional funding has been allocated in response to the intense pressure currently being placed on providers due to the new COVID-19 variant. The new money has been made available on top of the already existing £149million grant system to support increased testing in care homes.

What can we expect from 2021?

Reset. If 2020 was the flashpoint, then 2021 will be the reset and 2022 will be the start of the new world. Restrictions will continue into the start of the Spring, before being eased in the Summer, and then re-introduced at the end of Autumn. 

A Big Thank You to Everyone

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a difficult year. You do not need us to say this. It has been a challenge for the entire human race but through this, we have pulled together. We have shown that we are stronger together and from all this strife, we will emerge.

What we hope to see in 2021

  • A roadmap out of the Coronavirus pandemic
  • A positive conclusion to Brexit negotiations
  • A focus on working cohesively
  • A spotlight on technological adoption
  • A shared goal to bring the nation together and place the most vulnerable first.

We are in this together.

Providing operational oversight to Headway Oxfordshire during a global pandemic

Dedicated technology platform streamlines operational performance for Headway Oxfordshire at a time of national crisis to ensure core efficiency

Creating effective change during a global pandemic*

Birmingham Children’s Trust is on an improvement journey, implementing new working practices and computer systems, embedding a change in culture and increasing levels of partnership working across the city – all of which is taking place in the middle of a global pandemic. Jenny Turnross, Director of Practice, explains how this has all been achieved and their ambitions for the future.

Tech is the perfect partner, but it will never replace the emotion

‘…people and robots interact socially—the right kind of AI can improve the way humans relate to one another.’
How AI Will Rewire Us, The Atlantic

Since the 1940s humanity has been fixated on the notion that machines will rise up. From Isaac Asimov posting his famous Three Laws of Robotics in the 1940s to the Terminator films. It is an inbuilt fear of what machines could become.

ECLIPSE: The perfect software solution for the next decade

We created our ECLIPSE software platform to create lasting change across health and social care. It is an attempt by us to give back to an industry that offers so much every day. It is something that motivates us and keeps us strong.

Software that was suitable ten years ago is not suitable today. Delays cost time and the more time taken through administration results in less time to care. Time is the most essential consideration that we all have, and ECLIPSE creates efficiencies that save time.

It is not enough to provide access to software

Creating software is only one part of the puzzle. Ensuring that customers feel safe using and accessing systems is another key consideration.

Forrester Predictions 2021: Four areas that the Public Sector should take notice of

Forrester is one of the leading global market research companies who provide advice on the existing and potential impact of technology to its clients and the public. Each year Forrester looks at the shape of the emerging world and predicts the trends that will define the year to come. In this blog, we look at Forrester’s predictions for 2021 and look at the top four elements that public sector bodies can take away from the report.

Winners at the Computing Digital Technology Leaders Awards 2020

2020 has provided many challenges to the world. For health and social care organisations it has required a radical re-think in the way in which care is delivered. New models have been created to place those who are vulnerable at the centre.

Technology has been a key component within this radical shift. From offices full of social workers to additional safety procedures for health care workers, and care providers struggling with staff sickness. Technology has increased efficiencies, providing suppliers with a lifeline.

Continuing to support our customers

COVID-19 arrived at the start of the year. It changed the way in which we live our lives and by no means is the battle over. We are about to head into the most challenging period of the year, the Winter and our customers need our support.

Safeguarding moved behind closed doors

Safeguarding is a global concern.

We are capable as a species of great acts of compassion but also of inaction. For too many years organisations have not been able to see what is happening in their back yard.

Safeguarding breaches have occurred and shared on front pages. Organisations have been lost and others are still rebuilding their reputations, it is a mark of the world we live in. It is something that has increased following on from the outbreak of COVID-19.

Winter is coming

Much like the beloved, Game of Thrones franchise, the season of snow and cold is on its way. The season that brings with it colds and flu is this year bringing a new virus along for the ride. COVID-19 is here, has been classed as a global pandemic and is responsible for not only claiming people before their time but for also fundamentally changing how we live.

Positive steps to tackling county lines and gang behaviour*

Claudine Duberry, Director of Taking Positive Steps, explains how her organisation’s work can help tackle issues of youth engagement, gang involvement and county lines.

How the internet has helped to alleviate fears

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic was unleashed upon the world, the internet was already at the point in which it should be considered as a public utility.

Care to join us?*

With more than 100,000 vacancies in the social care sector, recruitment is paramount – but how do social care providers attract the right people to the sector?

ECLIPSE for Education continues to grow

ECLIPSE for Education continues to get great feedback from our customers, grow its customer base and great Ofsted ratings as we continue our journey to revolutionise the sector.

The hidden cost of returning to school

Children will soon be heading back to the classroom. This is against a backdrop of exam controversy, six months away from teaching and months’ isolation. It will reveal a raft of changes in each child, ranging from anxiety to being behind in subject knowledge and what most are now worried about, abuse. With the return to school looming in the distance, teachers, social workers and healthcare professionals are bracing themselves for what could be found.

Scottish community hub SWAMP implements OLM’s ECLIPSE Lite to manage Covid-19 response

SWAMP, a leading third sector community organisation in Scotland, running as a Covid-19 response community hub, has selected OLM’s ECLIPSE Lite to help record and manage resources during the pandemic.

Renfrewshire Council implements ECLIPSE to support its transformation approach to improving social work and social care

The focus for Renfrewshire Council was to implement a system which promotes a transformation approach to pathways, processes and people behaviour with improved workflow. Like all local authorities in Scotland, Renfrewshire was on a journey to transform the services it provides, where the relationship between the user of services and staff was central. 

The NHS and Social Care - two sides of the same coin

The NHS and Social Care are two sides of the same coin. We have been saying this since day one. Since 1991 and the day that we first opened our doors, the NHS and Social Care have existed as two separate entities. We have never agreed with this stance but by that same token, we do not agree with supposed proposals from the government that the NHS should take control.

Highly Commended at the MJ Awards 2020

The country's first bi-borough partnership for SEND has been Highly Commended in the prestigious MJ Awards, under the category of innovation in Children's Services. It is a proud moment for all the parties involved and coincides with the one year anniversary of when the project was completed. 

ADASS Spring Conference – Continuing to support adult social care discourse

The annual ADASS Spring conference is a key event in the calendar. It is a chance for directors of adult social care to get together with suppliers and thought leaders to discuss change. The major change of the day was naturally Covid-19 and how the pandemic has altered the face of the market in 2020. Technology is a key component in the response, and this was acknowledged during the conference. Change is no longer knocking at the door; it is kicking it down at the hinges and we need to acknowledge this.

Connecting the UK through the power of ECLIPSE

The coronavirus pandemic has shown to the world that technology is of paramount importance. It has helped to maintain connections, keeping loved ones connected when they have been unable to physically see each other. It has kick-started a technology revolution that will continue to change the world for years to come.

Charity donations at the time of Covid-19

Charities fill a necessary gap in society. In the absence of other services, they care for those who are vulnerable. Whether this is through long term research into incurable diseases, care at home, a friendly voice to listen to or simply being a voice for the voiceless. Charities are every bit as vital to the wellbeing of the world as the NHS or social care.

The cost of understanding the benefits that technology can bring

We all understand how beneficial technology is. The ability to buy nearly anything that we wish for at the touch of a button is no longer science fiction. It is science fact. We are living in an age where, in the average tube journey you can do your weekly shop, speak to your family and catch-up on work. This is no longer the future that was dreamed of, it is here. Technology is a great big pool of possibility in which the brave have invested and receive the benefits.

How Covid-19 has impacted adult social care budgets

Adult social care is underfunded. This is not news but the fact that Covid-19 has accelerated the problem and propelled it to a new level, where imminent failure is possible, is. According to the recent ADASS Budget Survey, The risk of already fragile care markets failing has significantly heightened as a result of the impacts of Covid-19.

Easing the Lockdown is about more than just opening doors

All across the world, we are counting down the minutes until life returns to normal. Will this ever happen? We don’t know and most likely, a new normal will emerge. What this will look like in a year or even two, we don’t know. What we know is that all of us desire a return to what we consider normality. From going to the pub to seeing relatives and stepping onto a plane, restrictions in life are frustrating. 

What will the world look like this time next year?

No one knows. 2020 has brought us the conclusion to the ongoing, will they, won’t they saga that was Brexit, devastating storms and Covid-19. It’s been a challenging year to say the least and we have still to complete half of it and so looking to predict what the world will look like next year that is the real challenge.

Messaging and video…Will the pandemic change Children’s social care forever?

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our ways of working and living in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few short months ago. Some of these changes might be temporary and some of them might become the new normal.

How different would life have been if Covid-19 happened twenty years ago?

The year 2000 doesn’t seem that long ago, but when you think back isn’t it amazing just how much life has changed in the last 20 years? What would the pandemic have been like 20 years ago? 

Transforming SEND services across Westminster City Council

Technology is a key enabler of change but without an equivalent transformation, when it comes to service redevelopment, you can fall flat. This is something that Westminster City Council can proudly say, has not happened. A recent Ofsted report has provided glowing reviews of a service that has been carefully crafted to put children and young people first.

Education, Health and Care Plans in 2020

Earlier this month, the Department for Education published its annual snapshot of statistics about Education, Health and Care Plans in England. These are primarily based on information collected in 2019, as the data was collected at the start of the year. They, therefore, paint a pre-Covid-19 picture as to the state of Education Health and Care Plans in England.

The changing face of social care

Social care is a frontline service that when researched, can trace its origins back hundreds of years. These go back to reforms designed to make life easier for those in the poorer parts of society. In its modern incarnation, it can trace its origins back to after the second world war, the 1948 National Assistance Act and the birth of the welfare state.

Fast forward more than 70 years...

Sharing best practice

Less than six months ago it would have been unthinkable. With ongoing pleas that proper attention be paid to the worsening social care crisis being left, unanswered, who could have imagined the new Thursday night ritual? Who would have predicted that more than half the nation would embrace a weekly celebration to thank key workers, including all of those providing social care, for the essential work they do on a daily basis?

The simple difference that volunteering can make in a time of crisis

Volunteering has been a word in common usage for hundreds of years. It is synonymous with acts of giving that are not limited to charity. Volunteer firefighters have been in common use in America since 1736 and now make up more than 70% of all firefighters in the country. At a time of crisis, they can make the difference between saving lives and disaster.

Supporting our colleagues during the Coronavirus outbreak

Covid-19 arrived on our shores this year to fundamentally alter the way in which we live. As a global society, we have been required to adapt our lives in order to give frontline practitioners the best possible chance to beat this virus. By staying home we can protect those who are most vulnerable and ensure that resources are utilised where they need to be. To aid in this endeavour, we have moved work into the home where possible and as an organisation, we have adapted.

Free software, ECLIPSE Lite, launched in the light of Covid-19 to co-ordinate Community Hubs across the country

OLM has launched ECLIPSE Lite, a bespoke software solution, available free of charge to local authorities. It is designed specifically to coordinate the responses of each Community Hub across the United Kingdom, to ensure that multiple organisations can effectively coordinate their approaches to the current pandemic. 

The Coronavirus Act 2020: Social Care Briefing

A big thank you to our colleagues at our sister organisation CareKnowledge for allowing us to reproduce and share their content on the Coronavirus Act 2020. CareKnowledge publishes professional development, research and policy information for the social care sector. The emergency legislation gives the Government the powers it believes it needs to take forward its plans for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. The Briefing focuses, in particular, on the aspects of the Act that have a direct impact on social care services. 

Supporting our customers

Covid-19 is here and it is putting a huge strain on the health and social care system, in not only the United Kingdom but the world is a whole. It is an unprecedented situation and one in which we, as a collective applaud those on the frontline and pray for a swift end to the number of infections. We are in a battle and one in which we rely on each other to keep services going to support health and social care staff on the frontline.

Covid-19: A message to our customers from our CEO

Dear Customers 

As the Coronavirus situation continues to evolve, our thoughts go out to all who have been impacted or infected. I wish a speedy recovery to all those who are ill and to those whose loved ones are battling this virus. We are proud of all the health practitioners, care and social workers that are continuing their essential work under immense pressure. I want to express admiration and gratitude to you all on the front line, keeping our country going.

World Social Work Day 2020

We don’t believe that social workers should be celebrated on a particular day of the year. They provide a frontline service and deserve to be celebrated every day of the year, much like all of the other public services such as the NHS, Fire Brigade, Police and even teaching. All of these services work under enormous pressure and deserve our utmost respect. This is especially true at this point in time with the unprecedented challenge that COV-19 poses to the world.

500 successful upgrades to the ECLIPSE platform

We have worked tirelessly to ensure that ECLIPSE makes life easier and a key part of that is reducing the burden and cost of upgrades for our customers. Over the last couple of years we have seamlessly delivered hundreds of upgrades, ensuring our users always benefit from the latest software and the solution is always secure.

The recipe for the social care of the future; Innovation, agility and a dusting of funding

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that social care is on the brink of collapse and no short term funding will fix the situation; a typically risk-averse sector needs to recognise that sticking plasters are not enough. The good news is that the sector has begun to recognise this, even if the government has not and Local Authorities are taking practical steps to innovate.

The next stage of evolution for Cyber Essentials

Change is inevitable in life and the same is now true for the Cyber Essentials scheme and the accreditation that sits behind it.

Show some love for Social Workers this Valentine’s Day

Social work is a rewarding career, but at the current time of writing, Valentine’s Day, it is also a stressful one. Whether it is caseloads that would break the back of even the hardiest of Donkeys or it is suffering from abuse, regardless of which, something needs to be done.

Is a new ‘radical approach’ to children’s social care the answer? – Part Two

Earlier this month we looked at the ‘Radical Approach’ for social care that was unveiled at the end of last year and discussed at a webinar in January. We analysed the plans and sought to look at them with a dispassionate eye, as with something that describes itself as radical, you want proof. Something that is intensified given our desire to make a difference to the sector and quest to ensure that any new ideas are thought out and will actually make a change.

Is a new ‘radical approach’ to children’s social care the answer? – Part One

Change is needed within social care, with new models constantly emerging in the search for this change. One of these models for children’s social care has received the attention of The Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE). They have highlighted one model as ‘A radical new approach to children’s social care’ based on the Buurtzorg model.

One in five of us was failed by safeguarding procedures and suffered abuse as a child new figures suggest

Across England and Wales, one in five adults has suffered some form of child abuse. This equates to millions of us who have suffered through a safeguarding failure. It is a staggering statistic and one that was revealed in January via the Guardian*. The headline grabbed our attention for the staggering facts and figures behind it.

What will the Health and Social Care trends be in 2020?

If we could predict the future then we would be rich. We can’t but what we can do is use our near 30 years of experience in the fields of Health and Social Care to make predictions. Our experience qualifies us to share our thoughts on what the Health and Social Care trends of 2020 will potentially look like.

How is SEND fairing in a pre-Brexit, post-New Year world?

2020, the year of Brexit, additional funding for the NHS, the continuation of the reign of Boris Johnson and the chance to make a change. How far you cast the net of change will depend on the political goals of the Conservative party. Whilst we hope that the needs of those who need care will be prioritised, we wonder how far this will be extended. With delays leading into the years for those seeking assistance for their children, we look into the government published report on the state of SEND.

The General Election 2019 – what next?

Friday 13th rung eerily true for Jeremy Corbyn, seeing Labour lose 59 seats and handing the Conservatives its largest majority since Margaret Thatcher won a third term in 1987. A happy Christmas for Labour and Mr Corbyn this will not be. Following on from the declaration of results the Prime Minister, Mr Johnson has promised to get Brexit done and repay the faith that voters have shown him.

ECLIPSE User Community Day

Built alongside practitioners is what we tell prospective customers and it is true. As an organisation, we are beholden to no shareholders and free to design software and services that work alongside the user. We created our ECLIPSE Software and Services Platform to make a difference and designed it with end-users.

Learning Disability Today 2019

Learning Disability Today (LDT) is dedicated to sharing the latest news and developments that occur within the realm of learning disabilities. It provides up-to-date learnings and keeps you informed with news, views and opinions via events such as the upcoming Learning Disability Today Conference in London, which is taking place today.

The London Borough of Enfield is live with ECLIPSE

The London Borough of Enfield is live with ECLIPSE Case Management to support it's adult’s services. With this launch, the London Borough of Enfield has joined a growing customer base that has invested in next-generation software to support service transformation.

Discussing the future of social care at NCAS 2019

The annual National Children and Adults Social Care Conference (NCASc) is a key event in the calendar. It is an opportunity for OLM to meet like-minded colleagues in the run-up to Christmas to discuss the key social care issues of the day. Set in the picturesque backdrop that is Bournemouth, this year’s conference has been well attended despite the upcoming election.

Forget Brexit, what about the real challenge, Social Care?

As we walk gleefully along the road to Christmas, there is one more hurdle that we need to vault before we get to see jolly old St. Nick. It feels as though whoever wins the upcoming election, the British public will have some movement towards certainty on the matter of Brexit. It has been the country's main focus for far too long:

  • Conservatives – A Brexit that could be from medium to hard by end of 2020
  • Labour – A slower path through to certainty but following negotiation and then a referendum we would get certainty
  • Liberal Democrats – Brexit cancelled straight away

Liberty Protection Safeguards, the critical changes from DoLS

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) have been in operation since 2009 but after 10 years, the Mental Capacity Act has been amended,  and they will be replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) from spring next year.

The change was heavily debated within Parliament and passed by a narrow margin. With such a delicate subject it is no surprise that the proposed changes have brought with them a wave of discussion and intrigue. In this article, we are concerned with how they will protect the rights of the individual.

How do you design the perfect case recording solution?

There will be many schools of thought on this as to what information needs to be included and what needs to be excluded. What we believe is that as many pieces of the jigsaw as possible are required to create the best possible case record. By including as much information as you can, you will ensure that the individual in front of you receives the best care available.

Health and Social Care: 5G as revolutionary as electricity?

Many analysts believe the move to 5G will be as revolutionary as electricity, with many commenting we spent the last 30 years connecting people; but we will spend the next 30 years connecting things. What will the impact be for social care?

Bi-Borough SEND Partnership - a Digital Transformation Case Study

Like all frontline services, Special Education Needs and Disabilities or SEND is coming under increased financial pressure, alongside increased awareness and pupil population. It is something that will result in nearly a billion pounds of the deficit by 2021/22. It is a problem and one that the country’s first Bi-Borough partnership for SEND has sought to solve through the implementation of technology. Vik Verma, One SEND Project Director and Deborah Brooks, One SEND Culture and Change Lead explain more.

Is the 350m in extra SEND funding enough to make a difference?

Local authorities across the country are battling against a consistent stem of cuts and an increase in demand. This is relevant within SEND and all other frontline services. Most headlines will showcase the difficulties that services are running through but few choose to showcase the strides that local authorities have made when it comes to reversing the effects of continual cuts.

Birmingham Children’s Trust has launched with ECLIPSE from OLM

Birmingham City Council is the largest local authority in Europe. They represent the largest number of constituents as a single authority, at more than one million. With so many depending on them for such a wide range of services, they knew that they needed to look to technology in order to create efficiencies. This is where they found ECLIPSE and a means in which to effectively change their working practices.

Who are Resolve Care? Find out at The Care Show

Put simply, they are an organisation dedicated to the health and wellbeing of individuals with mental health issues and learning difficulties. They are also the recipients of not one but two ‘Outstanding’ ratings from the Care Quality Commission, CQC. These ratings are notoriously difficult to come by, with less than 5% of the total number of inspected organisations achieving his rating.

Royal Wolverhampton Trust ECLIPSE project shortlisted for two national awards

It is with great pleasure that we are pleased to announce that we have been nominated for two awards at this year’s HTN Awards. Alongside The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, we have been nominated for the Impact of the year and User-lead innovation awards. Two awards that demonstrate our commitment to health and social care, creating solutions that make a difference.

Artificial Intelligence and the possibilities of billions saved in health and social care

2050. It seems like a long way off but like the impending storm that is Brexit, it will be here sooner than we know. Experts in the sector believe that this will be a key year for Artificial Intelligence (AI) as this is the year that experts predict AI will be able to perform any intellectual task a human can perform.

Brentwood Borough Council’s Journey to the Cloud

Brentwood’s “Phases of Modern” project aims to transform desktop and business systems and make them fit for purpose for the modern workplace. The project originally went to committee in 2015 and involved a relatively minor uptake of Cloud technology for Disaster Recovery (DR) purposes.

At the time, Brentwood needed to replace a shelf in their ageing Storage Area Network (SAN). Three options were considered:

  1. do nothing and sweat the asset
  2. buy a replacement or
  3. do something different.

Will Boris Johnson be able to keep his social care promises?

An honest politician seems to be the hardest thing in the universe to attain. Harder than a Plumber or Builder. The reputation of politicians is at its lowest point and so we have to ask ourselves the question, will Boris Johnson keep his social care promises? It seems as though it should be the easiest question in the world to answer but experience dictates the questioning of this statement.

Delayed Transfers of Care - where are we now?

Much like the fabled, Green Paper for Social Care, Delayed Transfers of Care seem to have been forgotten about. Only to be heard of in passing and used alongside much bigger stories but what should we take from this? Should we assume now that the problems have subsided and are under control? Should we take this as the delays have reduced and no longer cost the NHS nearly a billion a year? Or do we take it that other concerns have overshadowed those associated with Delayed Transfers of Care?

Cyber Essentials: What is it and why it is an essential stamp?

Without the essentials in life, we are like a wall without foundations, shaky and uncertain, prone to falling over. With nearly a million Malware threats per day, cyber-security is an essential requirement for any organisation and cannot be an afterthought. Without the basics, you will be left vulnerable.

OLM secures place on the G-Cloud 11 Framework

The UK Government G-Cloud Framework is an initiative targeted at easing procurement by public-sector bodies in departments of the United Kingdom Government of information technology services that use Cloud computing.

Safeguarding good practice for Charities: Governance and systems guide

As much as we would all like to say that safeguarding is not an issue in our society, it is. Safeguarding is a global issue that affects everyone. We need to acknowledge this and work together to minimise risk. We need to create working cultures that deem behaviour of this nature unacceptable to bring those responsible to justice, quicker.

SEND figures have increased for the third consecutive year in a row

For the third consecutive year running, the number of pupils with special education needs (SEND) has increased, moving from 14.6% to 14.9% at the start of this year. This headline figure has been garnered from the Department of Education and shows that more than 1.3 million pupils are now classed as having Special Education Needs.

Will NHSx make a difference?

Sounding like an extra from the next Terminator film, the new NHS Unit (NHSx) has been tasked with, ‘Driving forward the digital transformation of health and social care’. A noble cause and one that we applaud. Fax machines belong in a museum and not within the confines of a modern healthcare organisation, especially one that deals with an average of a million patients every 36 hours.

The NHS is free and therefore, why is Social Care not?

We assume that social care will, much like the NHS be free throughout our lives and with this precedence that the NHS creates, it is an understandable assumption. We have this illusion shattered at a point in our lives. In this moment, we find out that in reality, social care is not free and it is a bone of contention that continues to follow successive governments.

Can a charity rebuild its reputation after a safeguarding incident?

Just under eighteen months after the initial incident was made public and Oxfam is struggling. They are swimming against a tide of cuts, abuse claims and a new Chief Executive under accusation for covering up an employee’s encounters with sex workers at a previous charity. It is a milestone moment for the global charity in which quests for donations will become increasingly difficult and may lead to further cuts down the line.

Managed security systems could have helped the NHS mitigate against the fallout from the WannaCry attack

Two years ago the world bore witness to a cyber-attack that did not limit itself to one sector or country. Managed security services could have helped to address the balance and mitigate against the fallout but is this a fair assessment? Did the government do enough to protect people and the NHS?

Angus Council are live with ECLIPSE

Angus Council’s ECLIPSE software goes live, enhancing systems of support for Children and Families.

Rights, Relationships and Recognition at Social Work Scotland

This week we will be in attendance at the Social Work Scotland conference. An event that each year is attended by hundreds of policy makers, managers, practitioners and those eager to discuss problems, to see how we can make changes that benefit all. This year’s themes revolve around, rights, relationships and recognition.

Somerset County Council choose ECLIPSE for adult social care

Somerset County Council has looked to the future and chosen the only cloud-native case management solution for social care. They have chosen, ECLIPSE Case Management to support the transformation of adult social care services across the authority.

Mental health and wellbeing

Last week was mental health awareness week and whilst we celebrate this fact each and every year, we feel as though it is a 365 day a year consideration.

OLM rises to the challenge for Cystic Fibrosis Trust

We empower our staff to make a difference and give back. To this end, a team of Change Makers from OLM will attempt the Three Peaks Challenge next month. They will be doing so in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and have an ambitious target of £1,500 to raise, with a defined time frame of 24 hours in which to complete all three summits.

Charity donations reduced over last two years due to safeguarding concerns

Safeguarding should not be isolated. It should be for everyone, to avoid issues such as those seen in Haiti.

What do you think of when you think of think of the word, safeguarding?

ADASS Spring Conference: Supporting social care discourse

We are passionate about social care, monitoring the latest thinking and technical advances to come up with innovations to support the sector. We seek out talented individuals who add to our collective knowledge and by that token, look for organisations that have similar thoughts. One of these organisations is the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS). We are proud to sponsor them and were in attendance for their recent, Spring Conference.

Help for Heroes improve digital infrastructure through launch of new case management solution, ECLIPSE

Leading Armed Forces Charity, Help for Heroes, has gone live with ECLIPSE Case Management from OLM, in order to improve the digital infrastructure across the charity. The introduction of the cloud-native solution is a milestone moment for the team, as they are now able to enhance the efficiency and outcomes of its services.

Early support and prevention services need to be applied at the start of a vulnerable child's life to steer them in the right direction

Getting the right start in life is essential. Children are products of their surroundings and a tough childhood can lead to being ‘bounced around the system’. Early support services like Sure Start and Early Help teams can counteract these issues and ensure that each and every child receives the best start at life possible. With this in mind, you have to ask yourself why these services are closing down across the country, leaving children to fend for themselves.

Social Care reform in the UK can wait no longer. The most vulnerable are in crisis and we need to take note of best practice from around the world, including that which has been observed in China

China’s ageing population threatens to curtail the economic progress it has made in the last forty years. Why? It is facing a unique if not unfamiliar challenge to what is being faced by social care teams across the world. How do we support the elderly members of society in the most cost effective manner possible?

Could instant messaging transform the school application experience on National Offer Day?

Over the past ten years I have seen technology grow at an astounding rate and I’m always interested in how we can apply this to improve the lives of Children and Families.


Tomorrow is National Offer Day, a day in which parents around the country receive the news they were looking for or dreading.

OLM's ECLIPSE Security and Governance division protect Central Bedfordshire via Managed Security Service

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) is a unitary council, which provides over a hundred services to a quarter of a million people, and is responsible for schools, social services, rubbish collection, roads, planning, leisure centres, libraries, care homes and more. Their citizen’s data that they hold and protect is of the upmost importance to the council.  Like many councils, CBC is transforming themselves with a focus on increased mobilisation of their teams, improving the services they provide and reducing costs by moving to the cloud. 

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust transforms with ECLIPSE

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust have worked with IT provider, OLM to optimise their 0-19 service.

What are accreditations and frameworks, and why are they important to OLM?

What is an accreditation? It is a statement of compliance that showcases to potential partners your commitment to maintain certain high standards. These industry standards are then sought after as they offer a warm hug for organisations seeking certain expertise. If they have two suppliers and want to differentiate them, then the accreditations they list can help each individual supplier to stand out from each other.

Bi-Borough councils improve SEN systems infrastructure

Bi-Borough councils, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster City Council are to improve IT systems infrastructure across the SEN service to deliver better digital care. The authorities have awarded OLM a contract to replace existing systems with the implementation of next-generation case management system, ECLIPSE, to support the SEN (special education needs) service and integrated case recording.

Will Brexit result in a staffing crisis for care organisations?

Social care is a frontline service, every bit as important as the NHS. They are two pillars of the same house that care for millions every year. They are services that will affect us all at some point in our lives and so we should have respect for both, and see them as equals. One is not greater than the other and you could even argue that they cannot survive without each other.

The cost of avoidable hospital admissions

According to research from Age UK there are nearly 1,000 elderly individuals that are being needlessly admitted to hospital every day. These figures relate to conditions such as ear, nose or throat conditions, kidney and urinary tract infections, alongside angina. All of these conditions could have been avoided if the individual was in receipt of better care.

Safeguarding is not limited to the classroom

Teaching today includes an element of safeguarding, as for some children their teacher is the only stable relationship that they have. Without effective intervention and safeguarding from a young age, children can be driven into the arms of gangs where they can commit unspeakable crimes. We have seen this recently with the increase in teenage knife crime, but what can be done?

Is the state of social care in the UK a scandal?

It’s a subject that we have written around for years with the state of care slowly descending to the point of failure. It is failing across the board, being propped up by unpaid carers and underpaid and overworked care workers. It is a situation that will not be remedied overnight and is constantly overshadowed by the big B, Brexit.

Digital Transformation is here

We all know and accept this. It is not something that we are fighting, quite the opposite in fact. Digital has transformed the manner in which we live our lives. We have access to everything we could ever need, from devices no bigger than a cup to self-driving cars. It is an age of enlightenment but one that has come rather late to the NHS.

Managed Security – Why is it important?

The safeguarding of data for local authorities is of paramount importance and round the clock protection needs to be ensured. 

Should safeguarding be seen at the same level as fundraising in terms of importance?

The Oxfam scandal of 2017 brought to life many truths that the sector would have preferred to remain hidden. It showcased the lack of safeguarding policies employed across the sector and was brought to life by the Times.

ECLIPSE: Social Care IT designed by the Social Worker

When we looked to develop new social care IT software from the ground up, we knew we needed it to work for those that would be using it everyday, the Social workers.

Success for OLM on CCS Data and Application Solutions RM3821 Framework

OLM is delighted to announce that it has been successful in its application to feature in two categories on the Crown Commercial Service RM3821 framework.

More than 27 years of innovation and growth, with no customer left behind

Over the past 27 years, we have taken customers through three different technology upgrades, with ECLIPSE being the fourth and most recent. During each update we have considered the customer first and never left anyone behind.

Time to remove the fax machines and get in line with the new Digital Revolution

This is the call by NHS England and Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock.

To most of you reading this article, Fax Machines are a thing of the past that have been slowly phased out but for the NHS they are essential*.

Devon County Council are live with ECLIPSE

Devon County Council today celebrated the launch of our ECLIPSE software and services platform for children’s services.

883 reasons why technology can help to transform SEN

In a recent BBC investigation via Freedom of Information requests, it has been discovered that around 40% of the plans requested have taken longer than they should. 

An alternative view – Social Care Future

At this year’s NCAS Conference, a new fringe event has emerged, Social Care Future.

Insight improves and saves with ECLIPSE

Insight Behavioural Service provides specialist support for adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. 

Newcastle City Council choose ECLIPSE

Newcastle’s Children and Adult’s Social Care Services have selected ECLIPSE to support the transformation of their Social Care services.

The NHS at 70

Technology is essential to the future of the NHS.

Working Together to Safeguard children in 2018

How do we safeguard children effectively in 2018?

Will we see the Green Paper in 2018?

The Green Paper is a buzzword within social care. When spoken aloud it is greeted with equal measures of enthusiasm and frustration. Why?

Person Shaped Support choose ECLIPSE

In advance of their 100th birthday, Person Shaped Support (PSS) have selected our ECLIPSE solution to transform case recording.

Ofsted’s views on different social care models

There is a multitude of Children’s Service practice models being used across the UK: reclaiming social work, restorative practice, signs of safety, the team around the relationship, the list goes on…

Three Conversations and Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists (OT) are interested in how a person interacts with their environment, and the impact that this has on their daily life. The Royal College of Occupational Therapy (RCOT) defines occupation, as:"the practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity”.

DToC: Service transformation can help

The issue of delayed transfers of care is a national one and it is one that we have spoken about in depth. Our solution to the crisis is one that has received not only national but also international recognition.

Digital Health and Care in Scotland

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Social Work Scotland Act and the annual Social Work Scotland event has took this as its theme.

UK’s largest children’s charity chooses ECLIPSE

Barnardo’s select OLM’s ECLIPSE case management and ECLIPSE Citizen Engagement tools to ensure that children’s needs are met and voices heard.

Social Care: The 80/20 Rule

Pareto’s law (or principle) states that for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Will robots replace Social Workers in ten years?

If you are of working age then you have no doubt thought about this question at least once in the past ten years.

Invest for the future, invest in the social care workforce

The real competitive advantage in any service is one word only, which is “people”. This is especially true in social care.

Digital Capability within social work

Like it or not the digital world is here and it is here to stay. Those that embrace it will thrive and those who do not will fall. Social Work is no different. The difference with Social Work is that the cost of failure is so much higher.

Is it ever acceptable for a Social Worker to ignore their clients?

Being ignored is never nice. Whether it is by your friends, family or your partner, it doesn’t matter, it hurts. There is no nice way to be ignored.

What do we do?

OLM produces social care technology that takes the complexity out of people's lives.