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.