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Unifying child health records across the West Midlands

25 September 2017

Child health records for 2.3 million children living across the West Midlands region are being held on a single region-wide database, using System C’s CarePlus software.

The contract, awarded to Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and System C, is one of the first region-wide child health procurements run by NHS England, in line with NHS England’s new Children’s Health Digital Strategy and as part of a programme to drive up service quality while improving efficiency.

Following a rapid succession of successful deployments and data migrations, an integrated child health system was implemented in under 12 months, covering Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.

Mary Porter, lead, Child Health Information Service (Northern Hub): “This project is helping us improve the quality of care we can provide to children – simply having everything in one place reduces a lot of work when a child moves from one area into another.

The problem

Previously, health records of children who moved home within the region had to be transferred between multiple different IT systems controlled by different child health departments.

The solution - a single child health system

Now all child health staff across the region have access to the same records in a combined database, and are able to keep track of each child’s health records, including their vaccinations, when they move to another area within the West Midlands region.

The ground-breaking integration project commenced in April 2016 and took place over two phases, with the transfer of data from legacy systems onto existing instances of CarePlus, followed by phase two, which involved the integration of all CarePlus environments into a single unified CarePlus system - creating a region-wide database - completed in February 2017.

System C’s ability to handle consortia of this scale played a major part in managing such a large-scale project in the child health market.

CarePlus benefits

  • An all-embracing interactive child health record, from child to adult

  • Improved care quality, safety and service efficiency

  • Fully flexible solution which can be deployed in a single instance for one organisation, or over a number of Trusts using a single database

  • Meeting new guidelines or directives from the Department of Health such as new immunisation or catch up programmes that include Swine Flu and HPV, CarePlus Child Health enables benefits that support the QIPP (Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention) agenda

  • Achieves 97% compliance with “Output-Based Specification for Child Health Information Systems” issued by the Department of Health in November 2015

  • Supports over 100 standard reports. ICD10 coding is available within the system as are mandatory reports such as KC50, COVER and GP payments

  • Provides relevant data for the Children and Young People’s Health Services Secondary Uses Dataset

  • Includes a full audit facility that enables managers to monitor activity and to identify training issues

CarePlus in practice

1. CarePlus has replaced 12 systems from multiple vendors across multiple organisations in the West Midlands and combined them into large instances, requiring an impressive level of co-operation between many different organisations.

2. CarePlus provides automated new birth registration and integration with a wide range of organisations and services across the region, including maternity hospitals, blood spot laboratories, health visiting, school nursing, hearing screening services, GP practices and the Personal Demographics Service.

3. As a result of this success, System C has been selected to provide an integrated child health service across Greater London. The service includes a single instance of CarePlus Child Health for over 2 million children and a shared care record platform, CareCentric, which will provide an additional integration layer and online viewer for the child health data from 25 legacy CHIS solutions.

“The way that System C has worked with us is fantastic. I have never known as many data merges as we have seen this last year delivered on time. System C have been brilliant – really, really good. Hand holding at go-live was fantastic. System C kept on working with us until everything was right.”

Mary Porter, lead, Child Health Information Service (Northern Hub)

"CarePlus has helped us increase collaborative working and we can share best practice now across the hubs."

Mary Porter, lead, Child Health Information Service (Northern Hub)