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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Women’s Digital Care Record

The Women's Digital Care Record (WDCR) aims to support maternity services and offers women digital versions of their care record by replacing traditional paper records and support maternity services. We currently have 20 pilot sites across England. The WDCR project aims to offer 100,000 women access to their digital care record by March 2020.

Digital Maternity update: NHSX has taken over responsibility for the delivery of the Digital Maternity programme

We have been working with our commissioners, NHSX, to review the digital maternity workstreams. From the 1 July, the digital maternity work has been transferred to NHSX and we will no longer be updating these webpages.

If you have any questions about future digital maternity work please email

The Women's Digital Care Records project supports women with the opportunity to contribute towards their record, providing a greater understanding which then impacts on care.  

For example, a woman may choose to:

  • capture and share images, videos or record appointments
  • capture personalised care planning and support relevant to the stage of her pregnancy
  • share information with the midwife before they meet, through a questionnaire, to enable the midwife to have a more personalised conversation with her
  • have access to her pregnancy record along side the team caring for her. 

NHS Digital and NHS England were asked to implement electronic personal records for pregnant women, so we can start to see if digital health records can be adopted more widely in the future. 

We have initiated projects across 20 sites in England working with women, maternity services and supportive system suppliers to provide a convenient means for pregnant women to use their digital care record. 

The areas covered within the project so far include:

  • North Cumbria
  • Lancashire and South Cumbria
  • Derbyshire
  • Staffordshire
  • The Black Country
  • Birmingham and Solihull
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • South West London
  • Kent and Medway
  • South East London
  • Norfolk and Waverney
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough,
  • West Yorkshire
  • Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and North Durham

image of women's digital care record pilot sites map


This project's aim was to offer 100,000 women access to their digital care record by March 2020.

The final status of the project was as follows:

  • There have been 92,395 unique or first time logins to ePHRs/ WDCRs between January 2018 and March 2020.
  • 152,310 women have been offered WDCRS (between January 2018 to March 2020). 

Benefits and emerging themes

The benefits for women include:

  • improving women’s overall experiences and building the trusted relationship between clinicians and service users
  • access to their personal maternity record online, giving them greater visibility, control and understanding of their health and related information
  • access to trusted information about pregnancy with increased ownership and a better, safer care experience 
  • greater uptake in planned care, with the potential to include critical reminders around screening, immunisations and appointments during pregnancy
  • ability to access clinically assured information at any time and early on in the pregnancy before contact with the midwife
  • opportunity to identify any mistakes and make corrections
  • more time available to provide direct care because of a reduced administrative burden. 

Benefits to the service provider include: 

  • process efficiencies - the reduction of admin time for clinical professionals which releases more time to care
  • financial efficiencies - the removal of paper based maternity notes (pregnancy folders, printing charts and educational leaflets) leading to a cost reduction of stationary
  • increased service user satisfaction
  • improved outcomes for mums and babies
  • improving professional experience and staff satisfaction.  

Women’s Digital Care Record report

This project has delivered the Women’s Digital Care Records (WDCR’s), across 20 pilot sites in England. The key findings gathered from the implementation of WDCRs, as well as the feedback from women and clinical professions, are available in our progress report.  

Implementation guidance for Women’s Digital Care Records

We have developed implementation guidance for new sites considering implementation of WDCR, based on the learning from the accelerator pilots.

The guide is designed to enable new sites to get started and work through the various implementation considerations needed to implement WDCR at your organisation. The guide also includes links to a number of resources to support your implementation.

Further information


Last edited: 18 August 2020 4:09 pm