Headlines: May 6th, 2004

Social care managers and other local authority professionals in England and Wales can now join a web-based community already used by more than two thousand managers in the National Health Service to share knowledge.The service is being made available to staff in local councils following a partnership agreement between the Improvement and Development Agency and the Knowledgexchange. It means senior social services staff have free access to the service and can look for practical information and advice from peers working in other health and social care organisations. The service can be accessed via the agency’s website.

More than 2,300 NHS managers already use the Knowledgexchange to for advice and information on the many operational challenges facing health and social care professionals. The service allows users to connect with other professionals who have experience of working in more than 150 challenge areas including child protection, discharge planning, partnership working and workforce development.

The IDeA says people accessing the service are finding that they can save time and they are expanding their networks by learning from others. As well as this information and advice the Knowledgexchange gives users a weekly personalised news and events service and offers opportunities to join monthly debates with opinion leaders on some of the most important issues in health and social care.

Louise Smith, Operations Manager of the Knowledgexchange, said managers had been encouraged for some time to find ways of working effectively across health and social care boundaries and the extension of the service was helping to achieve this by giving them a fast and easy way to share information and tackle problems together.