Harrow Council has been forced to abandon a digital platform to improve the adult social care system after it became financially unviable.

Cllr Adam Swersky, responsible for finance at the council, confirmed it is no longer involved in ‘Project Infinity’ – a joint-venture with technology giant IBM.

The scheme was intended to raise funds for the council and it was hoped it would improve the adult social care system in the borough.

Users and carers would have used the programme to personalise their care packages based on needs and costs.

But Cllr Swersky explained that, following “a number of development delays” and “challenges in the market”, the council was forced to break from the project.

He said: “In light of the need to take decisions around going live with the product in Harrow, and given the costs, both financial and in terms of staff time, we conducted a review earlier this year and ultimately came to a mutual termination with IBM.

“It’s not the conclusion that either of us would have wanted but, when I look back at it, embarking on a project that was highly innovative, bringing in global expertise and a respected partner while taking on some risk – would I do that again? Absolutely.

“I think it was absolutely the right thing to do and, of course, we wish IBM every success with the product.”

He added the council has learned lessons from the process in terms of working with a commercial partner and said it will continue to seek out “innovative projects”.

Cllr Simon Brown, responsible for adults and public health at the council, said it was “business as usual” for those who use the council’s current personalisation programme.

The ‘MyCommunity ePurse’ programme, he noted, while not necessarily better than the proposed system with IBM, is widely respected in the borough.

He added the adult social care department is constantly reviewing its care package system to improve users’ experiences.

This covers areas such as a resource directory, electronic purchasing tools, personal health budgets and incorporating social prescribing.