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Health: Children

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what manual systems are being used by primary care trusts (PCTs) to support the Child Health Interim Applications (CHIA) system; and whether PCTs using the CHIA system are able to issue COVER reports; (171770)

(2) with reference to the answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 24W, on the Child Health Interim Application, what software was provided to enable primary care trusts to generate COVER reports from the live system; and when it was provided;

(3) with reference to the answer of 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1202W, on child health interim application (CHIA), for what reasons Connecting for Health and the London Strategic Health Authority have not produced reports from the raw data within CHIA for the COVER quarterly and annual returns.

Since May 2006 reports have been produced for the Cover of Vaccination Evaluated Rapidly (COVER) quarterly and annual returns from an extract of the raw data taken directly from the child health interim application (CHIA). The data required to submit COVER returns, which is a primary care trust (PCT) responsibility, are provided to the PCTs which use the CHIA system by BT, the system supplier. The data are taken from the live system and therefore reflect the information stored on CHIA at the point the data are extracted. Each PCT will use different manual systems dependent on their current business processes.

While all parties recognise that this situation is not ideal, the PCTs have indicated that they are satisfied with this approach as an interim solution. On migration to the RiO system, PCTs will be able to generate reports themselves. All PCTs using CHIA are expected to migrate to RiO by the end of 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts (PCTs) in London use the Child Health Interim Applications system; and what other systems are used for the same purpose in each other London PCT. (171809)

22 of London’s primary care trusts (PCTs) use a child health system delivered by the London programme for information technology (LPfIT). The following 10 PCTs use the child health interim application (CHIA) system: Barking and Dagenham, Camden, City and Hackney, Haringey, Havering, Islington, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forrest.

The following PCTs use the child health functionality of CSE Servelec’s RiO system, also delivered by LPfIT: Barnet; Ealing; Enfield; Greenwich; Hammersmith and Fulham; Hounslow; Lambeth; Lewisham, Richmond; Westminster; Southwark; Sutton and Merton.

Currently, the remaining PCTs in London use the following systems to support child health services: Bexley—McKesson; Brent—Continuum; Bromley—Totalcare; Croydon—EPEX (Ascribe); Harrow—Health Solutions Wales Community Child Health 2000 System; Hillingdon—Health Solutions Wales Community Child Health 2000 System; Kensington and Chelsea—Continuum; Kingston—McKesson child health; and Wandsworth—Comwise.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what reasons the Richs system was replaced by the Child Health Interim Application (CHIA) system; what functionality the CHIA system has that the Richs system did not; and what additional functionality the RiO system will have in comparison with to (a) the CHIA system and (b) the Richs system; (171811)

(2) for what reasons London primary care trusts were not able to move directly from the Richs system to the RiO system;

(3) what the status is of the Child Health Interim Application; and if he will make a statement.

The child health interim application (CHIA) was introduced in response to a decision in early 2005 to withdraw support for the ageing Regional Interactive Child Health System (RICHS) from 10 primary care trusts (PCTs) in London taken by its commercial supplier. CHIA was delivered to these PCTs at short notice by BT, the London local service provider under the national programme for information technology, as an interim measure at the request of the local national health service. At the same time NHS Connecting for Health, PCTs and BT were working together on a longer-term solution. The PCTs chose CSE Servelec’s RiO system to be their strategic system, and all CHIA trusts will eventually migrate to RiO, which began roll-out in London in 2006.

CHIA was always intended as a rapidly-produced like-for-like replacement for the RICHS system. There was no intention to provide an enhanced product.

PCTs have been heavily involved in the development of the strategic system including the specification of criteria deemed essential by the PCTs using CHIA. They identified the automatic making of appointments and scheduling, and an electronic link with Great Ormond Street’s newborn blood spot screening programme, as vital components of the new system. These functions will be present when the first trusts migrate from CHIA to RiO early next year.

Unlike CHIA and RICHS, RiO is an evolving product with capacity for continuing development over time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts use manual processes alongside their child health applications; and what those processes are. (171825)