In England, children’s services are currently provided by a number of different professions and organisations using different IT systems, which do not speak to each other. Some parents and carers have access to a digital child health record via an e-red book, but this is not linked to NHS and GP systems.
NHS England has produced a Children's Health Digital Strategy, which aims to improve interoperability between health and care IT systems to enable more integrated services, which better support children and their families. Two key objectives are: a) knowing where every child is and how healthy they are and b) appropriate access to information for all involved in the care of children, including parents and carers through personal child health records.
NHS England are establishing a central hub to provide a "subscribe and publish" service which will enable information about key health and care events in a child's life (eg birth details, immunisations, screening reviews etc.) to be shared electronically with appropriate people, including parents/carers through an electronic Personal Child Health Record or e-Red Book.
This is a collaborative project between NHS Digital and the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB). The PRSB role in this project is to undertake wide citizen and health and care professional consultation during the development by NHS Digital of information models and associated deliverables required for the child health events specification. The aim of the consultation is to make sure that the specification meets the needs of citizens and care professionals and can be implemented by industry suppliers.
Following the consultation, final versions of the information models will be turned into technical specifications by NHS Digital so that they can be used by suppliers to implement on their IT systems.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) are leading the consultation, supported by the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit using an evidence and consensus-based process, adapted from that used to develop the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) clinical record standards which were published in 2013.
A workshop is being held in London on 5 April 2017 to help develop requirements for information to be shared between health and care professionals and with parents and carers to support the healthy child programme. This is to enable timely and appropriate support to be provided and to prevent people having to duplicate information in different records (eg the red book, the health visitor record, child health information system and GP record).
This is the first of three workshops and will be focusing on child health events specifically related to the birth and new birth events. The following two workshops will cover other events taking place later in a child's life.
If you are an RCN member, and would like to attend the workshop, or have some thoughts on the project, please contact Dave O'Carroll, RCN Programme Manager (Information and Resources) in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org.