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Digital Child Health

The Digital Child Health (DCH) programme was created to support the vision in Healthy Children: Transforming Child Health information and to ensure key health information can be shared appropriately with all those involved in the care of a child.

The first step in providing modern, responsive services for children is to ensure that key health information can be shared appropriately with all those involved in the care of a child.  We are doing this by working with colleagues across health, care and information technology to redesign information services and to promote interoperability within the Healthy Child programme to: 

  • support personalised care
  • promote the offer and uptake of preventative programmes
  • support integration across the domains of health, social care and education.

What we want to achieve

The DCH Programme has four main objectives:

Efficiency savings for CHIS: use new infrastructure and messaging to replace paper notifications and re-keying of information in regional CHIS offices releasing resources for failsafing children and other services. 

Improvements for services delivering the Healthy Child programme: use new infrastructure and messaging to improve the efficiency of information exchange between health visiting, primary care and school nursing, leading to more timely and comprehensive information on a child’s health available to professionals, potentially leading to better decision support and improved outcomes for children.

A foundation for digital personal child health records: use new infrastructure and messaging to provide interoperability for digital personal child health records (DPCHR) to supplement or replace paper redbooks, making it easier for families to hold online records for their children and access them via smartphones, laptops and tablets.

A national failsafe management service offering:

  1. Population cohort management for direct care services and public health in conjunction with PDS. Identifying where children are not under the care of a responsible agency delivering the Healthy Child programme, that is a GP practice, health visiting service or CHIS.
  2. Pathway management of the Healthy Child Programme, ensuring all children and young people in a local population are invited to receive preventative services and monitoring if the offer has been taken up, when the treatment or review took place and what the outcome was.

Who we are

The Digital Child Health programme is a collaboration between, NHS Digital, NHS England, NHSx, PHE and regional exemplar sites and health system suppliers to improve interoperability of child health information in support of the Healthy Child Programme, the preventative care pathway offered to all children in England.

Exemplar regions for child health interoperability are:

  • North East London
  • Lancashire
  • South Central West

Our supplier partners working in these areas are:

  • System C
  • Servelec
  • Sitekit
  • Northgate
  • Intersystems
  • EMIS
  • TPP

What we do

The Digital Child Health Programme has 4 main areas of responsibility:


We have published the Healthy Child Record standard in collaboration with the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB)It explains how information systems supporting the Healthy Child programme should structure their data and is part of the make their systems compliant with the new standard. We need information standards to ensure different systems can ‘talk’ to each other, that is, it ensures they speak the same language and present the same type of data in the same way to achieve a common understanding. This work is be part of the DCB3009 Healthy Child programme which instructs IT suppliers to make their systems compliant with the new standard.


The National Event Management Service (NEMS) allows health services and organisations to publish and subscribe Healthy Child Programme information, and connects parents to that information via digital personal health child records. The programme also works with local infrastructure to see how these can be connected centrally.

We are also working to set up the National Failsafe Management service which send messages to services, organisations and parents prompting them to ensure children are registered with service providers and are not missing out on the preventative programme of care.

Citizen Apps

The new NHS citizen facing apps have been developed to help parents  access information for their children. The new digital personal child health record (DPCHR) is being trialled in London and is part of the private beta partnership. It connects to NEMS to receive child health information from the NHS. It also uses the new NHS identity service NHS login to securely identify parents wishing to receive NHS information digitally for their children so they can begin a personal child health record for them.


We are using the new standards and infrastructure to support the rapid exchange of child information between health services, organisations and parents. We hope a more timely and complete information exchange will lead to improved outcomes for children’s health. Those settings currently included in the programme are health visiting, primary care, child health information services (CHIS) and digital personal health records for children (DPCHR).

Contact details

If you have any questions or comments about the strategy, please email the Digital Child Health team at

Further information

  1. internal

    Child health interoperability

    The child health interoperability programme uses National Event Management Service (NEMS) to transfer events from the Personal Demographic Service including results from new born hearing screening, newborn physical examinations and newborn blood spot screening to services and organisations that need to see that information.

  2. internal

    Your opportunity to make a difference in child health services

    We are seeking participants to support a new and exciting child health services project. GPs, practice managers and practice administrators are invited to shape the future National Failsafe Management Service. This service is part of the wider National Events Management Service, which aims to ensure that all children in England receive the standard programme of care defined by the Healthy Child Programme

  3. internal

    National Events Management Service

    The National Events Management Service (NEMS) utilises the NHS Spine to enable the sharing of a patient’s healthcare information in near real-time across different care settings.

  4. internal

    Information for suppliers

    The Digital Child Health (DCH) team is in the early stages of design and technical development. Discovery and alpha work is being carried out by NHS Digital in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders.

Last edited: 9 September 2020 10:54 am