The SPIN system was developed as a joint venture between two organisations MACS and MSI-IT Limited.

MACS was established in 1990 to provide a range of services for vulnerable young people aged 16-25 years. In the last 18 years MACS has succeeded in developing an approach, which is effective and sustainable. The values and model of the organisation, particularly its approach to user involvement, are at the centre of this success.

MSI-IT Limited was established in 2007 and provides IT services across the country from equipment supply, IT support, web design and bespoke database development.

MACS were approached in 2008 by one of their funders and offered a positioned on a panel of similar organisations to participate in a pilot to develop a model for measuring outcomes.

MACS like many other similar organisations are required to measure the outcomes for the services they provide. The process of collating together all the necessary outcomes information and reporting to funders and other bodies is complex and quite time consuming.

MACS welcomed the opportunity to participate in the pilot and decided to develop all encompassing web base database to manage Service Users while in service.

During the development process, MACS seized the opportunity to have a rethink of all their processes and procedures.

The main criteria for the database was – It must be User friendly and adaptable.

Furthermore, the system should only record the minimum of information. MACS did not want their Support Workers spending most of their time entering data and no time left for direct contact with Service Users.

Prior to the database MACS used a hand written case file system. One file existed for each Service User. The file was an easy and quick way of recording interactions between Support Works and Service Users.

The new database system therefore, was designed to run in parallel with case files and provide high level reporting only.

MACS appointed MSI-IT Limited to advise on what was possible with the available budget.

Both organisations worked together to produce a system that has proved indispensible tool when managing Service Users.


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