Page ContentSafe and secure with a complete audit trailAs with all local authorities, Telford & Wrekin liaises closely with a number of health and social care organisations and needed to implement a solution that would allow for the confidential sharing of information with those external agencies, partners and individuals not connected to GCSX – the Government’s Secure Nationwide Network.Telford & Wrekin Council’s initial objective was to communicate electronically and securely with a number of social service organisations including care homes, childcare and foster services, but anticipated extending these capabilities to other partner agencies at a later date. The Council is responsible for the security of information that it transmits so a secure information exchange system is highly critical to our operations. We have to ensure that personal and sensitive information is only ever made available to designated and authorised personnel, demonstrate our compliance with various pieces of legislation and Government regulations and have full audit capabilities.Having evaluated a number of different solutions (none of which met all of the stringent data security requirements), Telford and Wrekin Council approached Core. Although they had implemented Microsoft SharePoint across the organisation, and were inclined towards a SharePoint solution for this requirement, they were open to alternative proposals. Core’s initial response showed that they understood our objectives, had experience in delivering similar service capabilities to other public sector organisations, and were proposing the use of SharePoint as the platform, which would allow us to capitalise on our existing SharePoint knowledge.Working together to streamline communicationWorking closely with Telford & Wrekin Council’s internal IT Team (and following an in-depth discovery phase, supported by two discovery workshops), Core began development of the SharePoint extranet solution. This highly secure solution resolved almost all of the issues that Telford & Wrekin Council was facing. The risks of confidential content being emailed to the wrong people or accessed by unauthorised personnel (whether in error or maliciously) was reduced; logged in users could only see documents that they were authorised to view; and documents held in the library could be “time-stamped” so they became inaccessible after a specified period. Core also provided an SQL database so that users could select recipients via a drop-down menu, further reducing the risks of sending sensitive information to the wrong person and removing the pressure on the Council’s IT department to manage and maintain email address lists.We have streamlined the way in which we communicate and exchange information with external agencies, partners and individuals by reducing as far as possible the possibility that personal and sensitive information can fall into the wrong hands,.The benefitsAs well as saving costs by removing the need for Telford & Wrekin Council to purchase individual software licences required for other secure information transfer systems, the solution has also reduced reliance on post and courier services. Information that would previously have been exchanged by registered or recorded mail, delivered by hand, or collected in person, is now made available via the secure extranet, saving time, reducing costs and ensuring that the Council maintains compliance whilst efficiently managing and controlling the dissemination of information.