Digital solution contributes to major cost savings and helps increase attendance at ‘catch-up’ clinics
Locala Health and Wellbeing has partnered with Inhealthcare to support its vaccination programmes across Kirklees in West Yorkshire.
The digital service removes the need for paper forms by automating the process of capturing parental consent and adding patient details to NHS records.
It also provides real-time visibility of uptake across schools to help manage public health.
Across the UK, vaccination rates are in decline and the latest government figures show take-up for young children fell last year for virtually all programmes.
Locala said the Inhealthcare service has saved approximately 23.5 hours per week in administrtion time within its five-strong child health team.
It has also made it easier for parents to book appointments, particularly at weekend clinics, where attendance has increased.
“The nurses love it,” said Linda Webster, team leader for child health at Locala.
“It is so speedy.”
Previously, immunisation teams would have to print consent forms, deliver them to schools across their area, collect the completed forms, and chase up any late or non-responders.
Now, nurses can simply refresh their tablets and see at a glance how many children are on the day’s list and prepare accordingly.
It gives you everything you need to run the immunisation service from start to finish without having to worry about getting forms out to school and back again
And the Inhealthcare service enables consent to be gathered at speed, avoiding the need for letters to be sent home.
It also sends parents an online questionnaire to gather consent and medical information and any contraindications trigger notifications for clinicians to review.
In addition, the service creates a list of eligible children and integrates the results of the programme into patient records and provides a dashboard with real-time data reporting for take-up across the population demographic.
Parents are kept up to date with details of vaccine dose and batch number once their child is immunised, with feedback from parents showing this is a much-valued communication.
Webster said: “The system overall is brilliant, especially the communication with parents.
“The nurses love it as well. It gives you everything you need to run the immunisation service from start to finish without having to worry about getting forms out to school and back again.”
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, adds: “Digitising paper-based processes is all about helping to create vital capacity within the NHS by getting rid of time-consuming paperwork and freeing up valuable resources to focus on public health. It is also contributing to the nation’s net zero target by helping the NHS to go paperless.”