Frequently asked questions

Why does Child Health need to publish a Healthy Children: transforming child health information’ as described in Healthy Children?

It has been twenty years since the current configuration of child health information services was introduced.  In that time the organisational structure of the NHS has changed several times, policy for children’s health and wellbeing has evolved and new technologies to support health and care have become available. The existing configuration of services based on organisational health care systems exchanging information between care settings on paper can no longer support the direction of travel. In summary the current challenges in child health information services are:

  1. There is no current view of a core set of data for a child outside of the Personal Child Health Record (PCHR)
  2. There is no capability to manage the care of children who are unregistered to child health information systems or GP systems
  3. Currently professionals don’t have access to relevant child health information. Services still very paper driven and manually intensive

The case for change can be summarised into three priority themes, the need for prevention, for personalisation and for integration. The recommendations of the National Maternity Review, which forefronts these same themes, provides an additional impetus for change.

Where can I find a copy of Healthy Children: transforming child health information’?

Healthy Children: transforming child health information’ can be found on the NHS England website here.

What is the ultimate aim of Healthy Children?

Healthy Children outlines a new vision for how child health information can support parents and professionals in their direct care for children and young people and how the same information can be used to promote their health and wellbeing.

How was Healthy Children developed and who contributed?

The development of Healthy Children was commenced in November 2015 which included a series of consultation events and extensive stakeholder engagement workshops.  The following provides a summary:

  • 3 National Stakeholder Events
  • 2 National Supplier Events
  • 40+ Individual interviews
  • 26 Group consultations
  • 131 Online Forum members
  • 31 Survey responses

Consultation with Parents and Children run by the Association of Young People’s Health and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

How do child health service providers assure that the data within the child health systems meets the needs of the various clinical and public health programmes to which it links and serves?

As part of section 7A of the NHS Act 2006, NHS England undertakes responsibility for ensuring that child health digital systems and services are commissioned effectively from Child Health Information Service (CHIS) providers that meet the data quality, information standard notices and technical standards that NHS England outlines in the CHIS service specification.

Child Health Providers will be required to comply with the Child Health Service specification requirements. Child Health service providers in turn hold the contract with system suppliers and are accountable for ensuring their child health system suppliers are compliant with the required standards outlined in the CHIS service specification.

Who is responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of technical and quality standards such as ISNs, OBS and information requirements?

As part of the implementation of Healthy Children: transforming child health information’ currently technical and quality standards will need to be reviewed and updated which will ultimately be defined within iterative versions of the CHIS Service specification.

CHIS providers and system suppliers are encouraged to actively engage and will be included in the ongoing engagement that will continue through the implementation process and so will have the opportunity to contribute to and inform future service developments and quality and technical standards as will all child health stakeholders.

What do I need to do to get involved in the implementation of ‘Healthy Children?

Implementation of Digital Infrastructure to enable the delivery of Healthy Children is being led by NHS Digital and any stakeholders wishing to be involved should contact the NHS Digital team at  to find out more details.  Of how this affects the future operating model of services, further information can be obtained from NHS England Child Health Transformation Team Ref DCH –FAQ

Where is the funding coming from to support the implementation of Healthy Children?

Subject to approval of a detailed supporting business case following satisfactory field-testing, the investment will be funded by the National Information Board (NIB) Paperless 2020 programme.  Field-testing of early works through the London transformation programme will be initiated during financial year 16-17 through NHS England capital plans.

How will Local Authorities be informed about Healthy Children?

Local Authorities have been kept informed and invited to contribute throughout the development of Healthy Children however, following publication a series of roadshows are planned to share the ambitions of Healthy Children in more detail specifically relating to the benefits for local authorities who are responsible for the commissioning of Children’s services.