Secondary Care

West Midlands child health departments go live with System C

Child health records for 1.4 million children living across the West Midlands region are now being held on System C’s CarePlus software following a rapid succession of successful deployments.

This has been achieved just 8 months after System C signed a contract with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust to implement an integrated child health system covering Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.

The contract award followed 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.

The first phase of the ground-breaking West Midlands integration began in April and involved transferring data from legacy systems onto existing instances of CarePlus being used within the area. All data from the previous 13 child health departments in the region is now managed via existing CarePlus systems.
Phase two involves integrating all CarePlus environments into a single unified CarePlus system, creating a region-wide database.

This rolling programme is currently underway, with the children’s records from 10 departments already merged and the rest to follow by February 2017.

The aim of the large-scale service is to improve care quality and safety, as well as service efficiency. Previously, health records of children who move home within the region had to be transferred between multiple different IT systems controlled by different child health departments. Now all child health staff across the region will have access to the same records in a combined database, and 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 region.

“This project will help 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. Cost savings will also be significant, thanks to shared maintenance costs and the economies of scale resulting from a wider user base,” said Mary Porter, lead, Child Health Information Service (Northern Hub).

CarePlus will also provide automated new birth registration and integration with a wide range of organisations and services across the region, including maternity hospitals, blood spot laboratories, hearing screening services, GP practices and the Personal Demographics Service.

Charles Jeffery, CarePlus project manager at System C, commented: “Replacing systems from multiple vendors across multiple organisations and combining them into large instances is a complex task. Our progress is testament to the dedication of staff and the impressive level of co-operation between so many different organisations.”