Modernising the Healthy Child programme is an essential step for any locality looking to conform to PHE’s most recent updates to the 5 Year Strategy. It has wide-reaching implications for providers & commissioners alike, across the delivery of all services. From the PHE commissioning guidance (part 1):
‘Modernising the Healthy Child Programme is intended to enable effective, focused services where additional needs are identified along with use of the latest evidence on effective practice and helping to bring councils, the NHS and partners together to achieve priority outcomes for children and families.’
Why is Modernising the Healthy Child Programme A Public Health Priority?
Unsurprisingly to anyone working in the sector, Public Health budgets are facing further cuts. The King’s Fund estimates budgetary cuts mean current public health expenditure is 13% less than 2013/14, in real terms (under the coalition which famously underfunded public services)
But, with a growing aged population, and COVID still looming, there is a greater burden than usual for public health providers. Commissioners will undoubtedly be feeling the squeeze, which means that providers will be facing more pressure than ever to deliver services at a discounted rate.
This is where updating services comes into play.
How Modernising the Healthy Child Programme can release more time to care
Modernising the Healthy Child Programme means a reduction in time and effort required to provide basic administration or reporting. Which, at the most basic level, means releasing more time to care. This marks a significant cost saving for commissioners.
By reducing the scope of responsibility for providers, it allows a tighter focus on delivering higher standards of care. Instead of wasting time filling in forms, or contemplating ritual sacrifice so your excel sheet might work, you could be out there delivering care.
What’s more, there’s the opportunity to completely reshape your information flow.
Traditional administrative methods leave much to be desired in terms of efficiency, and return on investment. Data can be entered and re-entered a whole host of times, in a whole range of different systems. This can be extremely tedious, and, more importantly, error-prone.
Modernising the Healthy Child Programme to reshape your data flow
Many localities still rely on paper-based administration. Through modernising the Healthy Child Programme, there is the opportunity to reduce the number of data touch points. This presents a unique chance for providers to increase data validity, and flow.
Crucially, during the pandemic, service modernisation can reduce unnecessary contact, and the amount of paper in circulation. Meaning less avenues for the spread of coronavirus – so, school health workforces can go about their vital work uninterrupted.
Keep an eye out for our next post, where we lay out a roadmap to modernising the healthy child programme.