Digital child health information to be made available to NHS staff & patients

Digital health information to be made available to NHS staff and patients

A new live national service launched by the NHS means that vital child health information will be available to health professionals and parents at the point of care.

Parents and health professionals can securely receive information digitally and use it to inform decisions on care and treatment, using the National Events Management Service, which securely publishes information on key health interventions for children.

The service shows which preventative interventions a child has received; improving the speed of diagnosis and treatment by giving health visitors and parents access to the same information sources at the same time.

The service has initially launched in North East London in partnership with North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) and their health visiting and child health services.

The IT system suppliers supporting the trust – System C2 (CarePlus), Servelec3 (Rio) and Sitekit4 (eRedbook) – have all collaborated with NHS Digital to connect their systems to the new service.

It implements a near real-time message exchange sending birth notifications, change of address and change of GP practice details. Data is also forwarded to a digital red book offered to mothers as an alternative to the current paper red book.

New information standards for the Healthy Child Programme were released by the Professional Records Standards Body last year, a key step in providing much needed interoperability between systems.

The scope of the National Events Management Service will evolve over time, working in conjunction with other local and national services, to support the whole of the Healthy Child Programme pathway and the availability of NHS-held clinical information to parents via digital red books.

Commenting on the first week’s live running, David Pike, Programme Manager at NELFT, said: “The results so far have been very encouraging. Within the first couple of days we achieved a 20% increase in the timeliness of new birth notifications from out of area maternity units, enabling our health visitors to see new families sooner.

“We also received 2000 address changes on the first day, which means we’re picking up children new to NELFT services much quicker; ensuring those children moving out of area are rapidly notified to their new service provider. Based on these early improvements, we expect to be targeting health resources much more accurately in the coming year.”

Martin Dennys, Programme Manager for Digital Child Health at NHS Digital, said: “Child health information is currently held across a number of different information systems across the UK.

“The National Events Management Service supports the communication between these systems and is an important milestone in the journey to deliver more personalised, responsive and integrated services to families and children.”