Across the UK, vaccination rates are in decline. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a fall in young people getting their routine jabs. This is a cause for concern: the World Health Organisation recommends vaccine coverage of 95 per cent to prevent the spread of deadly diseases such as polio and measles.
The process of distributing paper forms to parents and getting signed copies back was time consuming and manual for clinical teams.
Locala Health and Wellbeing, an NHS community healthcare provider needed a digital solution to support their vaccination programmes across Kirklees in West Yorkshire.
Our digital vaccination 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.
The service allows Locala to dramatically reduce the amount of paperwork and associated costs. 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. The service means to be gathered at speed, avoiding the need for letters to be sent home. It sends parents an online questionnaire to gather consent and medical information. Any contraindications trigger notifications for clinicians to review. The service creates a list of eligible children and integrates the results of the programme into patient records. It also provides a dashboard with real-time data reporting for take-up across the population demographic.
The service sends parents details of the vaccine dose and batch number once their child is immunised, keeping families up to date with the outcome of the school session in real time. Feedback from parents shows this is a much-valued communication.
Locala’s team is on hand to help households without internet access to complete the forms. It expects families to become more used to the digital service as their children progress through school and undergo the routine immunisation schedule.
Locala found the following:
- Digitising the consent process for childhood immunisations contributed to major cost savings and helped increase attendance at ‘catch-up’ clinics.
- The Inhealthcare service has saved approximately 23.5 hours per week in admin time within its five-strong child health team.
- It also made it easier for parents to book appointments, particularly at weekend clinics, where attendance has increased.
“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.”
Linda Webster, team leader for child health at Locala
“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.”
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare