National recognition for technology helping parents and carers in Greater Manchester access support

Baby with phone

National recognition for technology helping parents and carers in Greater Manchester access support

Greater Manchester’s Early Years Application, which digitises early years assessments for children aged 0 to 2.5 years, has been named as a winner in the Digital Leaders 100 Awards.

The awards ceremony, which took place on Thursday 11th November at The Shard, London celebrated the teams and individuals who are working hard behind the scenes to secure the UK’s Digital Transformation.

Following a public vote and presentation to a panel of judges the Early Years App (Early Years Integrated Solution) was crowned winner of Digital Public Service Innovation of the Year Award 2021.

Councillor Andrew Western, GMCA Lead for Digital, Work and Skills said: “It’s wonderful to see this initiative recognised at a national level. The Early Years Integrated Solution is helping to join-up our public services, helping parents and carers access the support they need.

The solution became especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it reduced the need for physical contact. In Greater Manchester we are dedicated to investing in digital transformation that benefits our residents and this award win demonstrates that ambition.”

The app, developed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) with colleagues from Greater Manchester’s local authorities, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership and frontline colleagues within the NHS provides support digitally and reduced the need for physical appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new system will help health visitors to identify developmental issues earlier and provide support for the child and their families quicker than current methods. It will also free-up valuable clinical time for health visiting teams – thought to be worth around £10m per year in productivity once rolled out to the rest of Greater Manchester – enabling health visitors more time to provide better quality care for our youngest citizens.

Chris McLoughlin OBE, Director of Children’s Services, Stockport MBC and GM Lead Director, Early Years and School Readiness said “The Early Years Integrated Solution is a fantastic example of both effective collaboration and digital innovation to support a region wide ambition to give our children the best start in life, an ambition we must not underestimate. This solution is one way digital is being used to help us achieve those ambitions.”

The team behind the app have been working closely with NHS colleagues to integrate the Early Years Integration Solution with the NHS National Event Management Service (NEMS) to pull through demographics and events data – events data can include births and deaths and change to a registered GP or home address. Further integrations will include NHS Spine Mini Service (SMS) giving the user the ability to seamlessly search additional demographic data using an NHS number.

The team are also working on expansions including the completion of WellComm forms for older children – the first-time this data will be shared electronically between health and Local Authorities. As well as integrating with localities Electronic Patient Record systems.

The Early Years Integrated Solution is one way we are giving children the best start in life through digital.

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