Halliwell Homes Ascends to the Cloud


Halliwell Homes is a social enterprise offering “clinically informed practice” through the medium of education, fostering and residential care. Their objective is to enhance the psychological health of children within the care system. Their Restorative Parenting® Recovery Programme is a therapeutic re-parenting programme which focuses on addressing the emotional, behavioural, social and developmental needs of the child. This approach sets them apart from standard residential child care providers in that it is clinically informed in every aspect of the child’s lived therapeutic experience with the specific aim of helping traumatised children achieve psychological wellbeing.

“Our challenge is the ever growing volume of paper that we are required, by law, to retain and manage,” says Mike Cairns, Head of Finance & IT, Halliwell Homes. “We needed a solution to digitise all of our paper records and turn them into electronic records, making it secure and instantly available to all our staff.”

With thousands of documents to create, store and manage every year, Halliwell Homes has all the reasons in wanting to digitally convert historic and future documents. The paper documents, consisting of sensitive and ongoing care records is a challenging problem. With records requiring storage for 75+ years, physical storage soon becomes an issue and an expense. “This volume of paper results in off-site storage. We have boxes stored everywhere which we are adding to each year,” Mike explains.

“Ascentas has provided a fantastic service and, with Laserfiche ECM, we have a superb piece of software.”

Mike Cairns, Head of Finance & IT, Halliwell Homes.

Greater Efficiencies with Ascentas Group and Laserfiche ECM

Due to the nature of documents and data being retained, Halliwell Homes complies with a number of prescriptive rules and regulations on managing and retaining records according to UK law by using an Ascentas Scan Centre coupled with Laserfiche ECM (enterprise content management). We use Web Access, workflow tools and the comprehensive OCR capabilities of Laserfiche” Mike shares. Using Ascentas and Laserfiche ECM, Halliwell Homes now have a solution that can extract data from scanned documents, apply logical workflows, store documents in a compliant manner to UK laws, and retrieve documents instantly from the repository, making their processes more efficient and secure. “Ascentas is a very important part of our information architecture going forward as it helps us take control of our immense paper records. Having all our paper and digital records securely in one place has been a great move for us,” he says.

No More Paper

With hundreds of boxes of paper documents collected, scanned and stored directly into Laserfiche ECM, Halliwell Homes now has instant access to all of its documents. Departments can easily search by document type or keyword which increases efficiency, improving back end processes and ultimately delivering a greatly enhanced customer service. As a result of implementing the solution, Halliwell Homes has reduced their paper handling costs and addressed its GDPR compliance issues. The removal of high volumes of boxes off-site is freeing up valuable office space and saving considerable costs on rates and rent.

Forever Storage

Halliwell is on the road to becoming a paper-lite organisation and will only need to retain physical documents on-site for a short period before they make there way to an Ascentas Scan Centre for conversion and storage within their Laserfiche repository. When a document is scanned, if required, it can be stored forever. When compared to physical storage, the cost of digital storage is very small and far more secure.

The Challenge

Thousands of documents, in paper form, books and reports need to be stored, some for 75+ years. GDPR and other regulations require robust and secure management of these records. Documents need to be readily accessible and secure across the organisation, from remote locations to head office.

The Solution

Halliwell Homes uses Ascentas Group to collect, catalogue and digitally convert paper documents, books and reports. Documents are indexed, OCR’d and securely stored in a secure online repository which are then instantly retrievable at the page level all while being securely managed with robust user security privileges, records management and retention scheduling.

The Results

  • Reduced physical storage of documents in off-site storage to zero

  • Documents are available 24/7/365 via a secure on-line portal

  • Data is backed up and all systems adhere to strict rules on metadata, retention and disposal of information

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