NHS launches child health info digital service for parents and clinicians

 Health agencies unite with key suppliers to create tool to make information accessible digitally

Credit: Angelika Warmuth/DPA/PA Images

The NHS has launched a digital service to make information on children’s health available to parents and clinicians at the point of care.

The National Events Management Service (NEMS) is designed to swiftly and securely publish details of “key health interventions for children”. This information can then be simultaneously digitally accessed at the point of care by parents, health visitors, doctors, and other NHS staff.

The service also provides “near real-time message exchange, sending birth notifications, change of address, and change of GP practice details”, according to NHS Digital.

Data gathered by NEMS will also be submitted for inclusion in a digital version of the so-called red book individual child health record that parents are provided with shortly after birth. The digital red book is now offered to new parents as an alternative to the paper version.

NEMS has been launched across the North East London Foundation Trust, ahead of a wider national rollout over the coming weeks.

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On the first day the service was live at NELFT, it processed 2,000 address changes, according to the trust’s programme manager David Pike. 

“[This] 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,” he said.

He added that, across the first few days, the service had enabled 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”.

“Based on these early improvements, we expect to be targeting health resources much more accurately in the coming year,” he said.

NEMS was jointly developed by NHS Digital and NHS England, in collaboration with three providers of healthcare IT products and services: System C; Servelec; and Sitekit. 

Over the coming months, these parties will work with other national and local health agencies to increase the scope of the service.

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. We now look forward to supporting suppliers in rolling the service out more widely.”


Sam Trendall

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