Transforming child health information services

Sharing the latest developments from the SCW CHIS team

SCW CHIS provides over 1,500 health care professionals across Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, with access to 800,000 0-19 year health records through provision of a dedicated child health IT system.

Supporting over 330 GP Practices, seven maternity units and eight healthcare providers, our dedicated SCW team continues to transform child health information services in conjunction with our philosophy of care; ‘Knowing where every child is, and their immunisation and screening status’. In turn, our philosophy underpins our service delivery model, and reflects our determination to ensure no child is missed.

I have consistently been impressed by the foresight and planning brought to child health information services by SCW. They are one of the most digitally mature Child Health Information Services in the country and are actively seeking further ways to improve their service through adopting the framework set out in NHS England’s Healthy Children: Transforming Child Health Information. The team at SCW are incredibly knowledgeable and seek to collaborate wherever possible; I look forward to them sharing their work and insights with other services in the country.

Alison Golightly, Author ‘Healthy Children: Transforming Child Health Information and Head of Implementation and Business Change, Digital Child Health Programme, NHS Digital.

Programme updates

It’s a ‘win win’ for GP’s and CHIS through automated electronic uploads in Berkshire and Oxfordshire

It’s a ‘win win’ for GP’s and CHIS through automated electronic uploads in Berkshire and Oxfordshire

Berkshire GP Data
91 GP practices have been sharing the childhood immunisation data via Graphnet – Carecentric since the end of May 2018. This process has stopped the need for GPs to produce a weekly report, and for the CHIS Team who no longer have to update this data as it automatically uploads into the CHIS IT system.

Oxfordshire GP data
68 GP’s share the childhood immunisation data via the EMIS Search and Report Tool – again similar to Berkshire, this stops practices having to manually run reports and also speeds up the upload approach for the CHIS Team.

On-going transformation of the South Central CHIS Centralised Hubs

The SCW CHIS now fully operates from two Hubs:

  • East Hub at Milton Park, Didcot serving Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
  • West Hub at Swindon, serving Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and Swindon.

The teams located in the two offices work in four sub teams enabling staff to focus on specific specialised areas of work.  The teams are; pre-birth to under ones, 0-5 immunisation team, school- aged immunisation team, and the population failsafe team (responsible for ensuring we understand our population and know where children are). 

Whilst we have moved away from working in geographically focused teams, we are still able to support local processes and have a good understanding of the needs of our provider partners.

Information governance and data completeness

SCW CHIS take information governance very seriously and invest time in reviewing all data sources and mapping all flows and sharing processes. We share and receive data with in excess of 45 organisations and manage over 120 different data flows.

This process remains essential as the SCW CHIS has increased electronic processing of all incoming data by 80% in the last 12 months transforming the CHIS from a predominately manual data inputting service.

This significant change has enabled the service to understand the data trends, gaps and anomalies and work to address these by providing a better and stronger outcome in ensuring all missed children’s health interventions are effectively followed up by health professionals.

On-going work takes place to review the quality of data with CHIS staff supporting practice where any anomalies are identified to increase data quality providing the ability to review any missed children quickly.

Following the GDPR changes all information sharing agreements have been updated and reissued to ensure they are up to date.

CHIS reporting

As well as statutory vaccination, screening and KPI reports, our Analytics Team provide regular datasets, data quality audits and failsafe reports to Health Visitors, Local Authorities and other external colleagues. This bi-directional transfer of validated data allows all parties involved to maintain accurate information and therefore improve the service offered to our young population.

SCW CHIS supports the School Immunisation Programme by validating school roll data that is received from Local Authorities and then providing the school immunisation teams with lists of children in the relevant year groups. Vaccination details are extracted from the CHIS system and inserted into the lists prior to being sent so that practitioners can determine the eligibility for each child, thereby preventing vaccines from being administered unnecessarily and reducing wastage.

The improving immunisation uptake team

The service was launched on 1st July 2018 with a publicity campaign in local newspapers and radio. The main objective for the team working across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire is to utilise CHIS general practice level data and clinical input to improve immunisation uptake. The team have worked in close partnership with CCGs, Health Visitors and Local Authorities to promote the childhood immunisation programme.

Since the launch the team have facilitated 21 multi professional GP practice meetings in Berkshire, 10 in Oxfordshire and four in Buckinghamshire and with many others planned. Processes are reviewed and evidence based best practice promoted.  The team has attended Practice Manager and Practice Nurse Locality Forums and is targeting areas with lower immunisation uptake with a current focus on Berkshire, particularly South Reading and Slough.

Some of the issues identified include:

  • Inaccurate data-CHIS system not reflecting GP records. Data cleansing required of historical records
  • New registrations-difficulties obtaining immunisation histories for children from abroad
  • Incorrect coding of immunisations on GP records
  • Ghost patients- families remain registered at GP surgery but are no longer living in UK
  • Young children identified who had not been seen by a GP for 2+ years.

This is a very exciting project. In the first two months as news filters through the service is really gathering momentum and the feedback from GP surgeries and other services has been very positive.

Parent and carer engagement

SCW recently interviewed parents, carers and healthcare professionals to ask their opinion about the elements of immunisation and screening data they would like to access online. This user feedback will be used to inform the direction of future developments of the Parent Portal / Digital Redbook SCW are currently considering as pilot projects over the next few months.

Upcoming CHIS service developments

In line with entering data once and sharing with many, SCW CHIS are working in the following areas to:

  • Develop interfaces with Gloucestershire Joining Up Your Information (JUYI) Programme to enable all 0-19 year old records to be accessible within one IT System.
  • Develop further interfaces with the Berkshire Connected Care Project to increase accessibility to health care professionals.
  • Working in Buckinghamshire to support the shared cared record developments
  • Parent Portal /Digital Redbook Developments – to provide child records electronically to parents/carers and young adults via Mobile Apps and the internet.

Director of Child Health Information Services (CHIS)