Creating digital personal child health records

The Senior Programme Lead in the Operations and Information Directorate within NHS England appeals for help from innovators:

The Digital Child Health programme was established to deliver the key aims of the Healthy Children: Transforming Child Health Information strategy.

The vision is to create a step change in the way information and technology is used.

The programme will deliver new opportunities, such as holistic, real time clinical care records and better health outcomes, by improving collaboration between health and care professionals and families, children and young people.

We are collaborating with suppliers, the London region and Lancashire and South Cumbria STP, to deliver proof of concepts and set the foundations for new infrastructure and the electronic Personal Child Health Record.

We would like to hear from anyone interested in contributing to the early work, or who would like to share their local innovations.

One of the key outputs from the programme will be the digitalisation of the ‘Red book’ – the current paper-based record.

A new, electronic Personal Child Health Record will enable parents, carers and healthcare professionals to update and access information digitally. It will be the first step in providing modern, responsive services for children.

The Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) has endorsed new standards to make sure information can be exchanged directly between different clinical and administrative systems without the need for any manual exchange. These standards will ensure information on screening tests, immunisations and developmental milestones is available in a consistent, coherent way.

It also means that everyone involved in a child’s care, including parents, will have access in the future to a standardised set of paperless, digital child health records.

The DCH Programme will ensure those involved in the care of a child will see appropriate information at the point of care, improving the patient experience and empowering professionals to make informed decisions.

If you would like to learn more, please contact:

Neil Calland

Neil Calland is a Senior Programme Lead in the Operations and Information Directorate within NHS England.

He is leading the development of an STP-led investment programme focused on the digitisation of secondary care providers, and the business adoption and transformation workstream of the Digital Child Health programme.

Previously for NHS England, Neil has managed the Nursing Technology Fund and led the Local Digital Roadmaps agenda.

He has worked extensively across public services, including health, social care, youth justice, welfare to work, parenting support and education.


  1. Dan Benjamin says:

    At least the digital option will be forever available unlike the paper version of which there are non currently available anywhere in Manchester

  2. VAl Baxter says:

    I work in Lancashire as a Team Leader in Targeted children’s service a digital parent held record for children with complex needs or long term conditions help communication and support parents.One point of information held by the patient. I am interested in how this could be progressed. Val Baxter

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Val,

      Which organisation do you work in? I will put you in touch with our accelerator lead in Lancashire, who I’m sure will be happy to talk to you about the plans for the Digital red book in your area

  3. Rosie says:

    Digitising the ‘red book’ is a great idea. It should be a way for all professionals to easily see each other’s comments/dealings with the child. It would make for more accurate tracking of growth charts (mine has been incorrectly marked a couple of times).
    It is absolutely vital however that parents have easy access to this digital record, an app or web broswer suitable for viewing on a phone would probably be the most accessible and easiest format for families.

  4. Leigh-Anne says:

    I feel it is important to continue with the physical red book, as there could be a chance of software crashing or information being accessed and stolen