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Single child health service for the West Midlands region

24th November 2015

A single child health system will soon be in operation for the whole of the West Midlands, following NHS England’s award of a region-wide contract to Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust and System C. 

This is one of the first procurements for a single region-wide child health service to be run by NHS England.

Under the terms of the contract, BCHC will provide a unified child health information service using System C’s CarePlus child health software. This single system will enable better access to records by health practitioners across the region, enhancing care and safeguarding.

System C’s CarePlus Child Health solution is already used by over 8,400 care professionals in the UK, providing child health services to over 3m children.

The new West Midlands child health service, to be introduced from 1 April 2016, will cover Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.

Currently, the health records of children who move home within the region have to be transferred between multiple different IT systems. By using CarePlus, staff will be able to keep track of each child’s health records, including their vaccinations, when they move to another area within the West Midlands.

CarePlus will also provide automated new birth registration and integration with a wide range of organisations and services, including the maternity hospital, blood spot laboratories, hearing screening services, GP practices, the Personal Demographics Service and the NIPE SMART system for newborn and infant physical examinations.

Nicola Benge, Consultant Lead Screening and Immunisations for NHS England (West Midlands), said NHS England was delighted with the contract for a new unified service. “We know it’s going to be a vital tool in ensuring that all children’s information will be more easily accessed”, she said.

“The new system will not only help health professionals who use and update the records, but also will give piece of mind to parents in the West Midlands by giving them the assurance that their child’s data can be kept track of and securely saved and updated.

“It’s yet another positive action that has been put in place to ensure that all patients have access to and reap the benefits of high-quality patient care.”

BCHC will be the lead provider for the single service, and will work with sub-contractors South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and Staffordshire and Shropshire Health Informatics Service.

Claire Paintain, BCHC associate director, specialist children's services, said: “The creation of a single service managing child health records across the West and North Midlands is a significant step forwards in co-ordinating and improving healthcare and safeguarding for children.

We are delighted to have been successful in gaining the contract to deliver the single service, and look forward to working with partners throughout the region to develop and implement an effective tool for better child healthcare.”

Markus Bolton, joint chief executive of System C, added: “The integration of systems and the management of health records over large geographic areas are central to the modernisation of the NHS. The future of child health is in projects of this sort, and we are delighted to be working with Birmingham Community Healthcare to deliver a unified service over these different provider areas.”