350,000 er­rors in chil­dren’s health records

Middleton Guardian - - TRAVEL - NEAL KEEL­ING

HUN­DREDS of par­ents may not have been in­formed their chil­dren were due for vac­ci­na­tions be­cause of an NHS records er­ror.

As NHS staff tried to trans­fer health records for young­sters in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, and Traf­ford to a new com­puter sys­tem they dis­cov­ered 350,000 er­rors.

Bosses of Pen­nine Care, which pro­vides chil­dren’s health ser­vices in these ar­eas, have launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and set up a helpline for con­cerned par­ents.

A spokes­woman said they do not be­lieve any chil­dren have been harmed be­cause of the er­rors, which they say could range from fail­ing to call young­sters for vac­ci­na­tions to sim­ply in­com­plete con­tact in­for­ma­tion.

One source said: “It could mean that chil­dren have not had their full course of vac­ci­na­tions and chil­dren may not have had vis­its from health vis­i­tors they were due.

“This has arisen be­cause peo­ple have not had the proper train­ing to do data cod­ing.”

The records were ac­quired by Pen­nine from other or­gan­i­sa­tions in Bury, Oldham, and Rochdale in 2011 and from Traf­ford in 2013. But they date back more than a decade.

The com­puter sys­tem which the Trust is try­ing to re­place is CCH2000 which is used at many NHS trusts across the coun­try.

Pen­nine Care want to re­place it with a more ro­bust sys­tem af­ter us­ing it for six years.

In a joint state­ment with the Greater Manch­ester Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, they said: “Pen­nine Care is cur­rently work­ing on plans to trans­fer the child health data from CCH2000 to a new and im­proved sys­tem called Paris, which is al­ready used by other clin­i­cal ser­vices across the trust.

“Dur­ing the process of trans­fer­ring the data from CCH2000 to Paris, the trust has found the old sys­tem con­tains a num­ber of data is­sues.

“It is too soon to fully con­firm what the data is­sues are, but they could range from names and ad­dresses be­ing in­cor­rect or po­ten­tially vac­ci­na­tions be­ing recorded in­cor­rectly.

“Pen­nine Care, GMHSC Part­ner­ship and com­mis­sion­ers are work­ing closely to­gether to de­ter­mine what im­pact, if any, the data in­ac­cu­ra­cies have had on the sched­ul­ing of child vac­ci­na­tions.

“Ur­gent work is be­ing un­der­taken to cleanse the data as much as pos­si­ble in or­der to pro­vide a clear un­der­stand­ing of what the implications are.

“Clin­i­cal staff will still be ad­min­is­ter­ing vac­ci­na­tions safely and in line with na­tional guide­lines.

“There is no rea­son to sug­gest there are any prob­lems with how vac­ci­na­tions have been ad­min­is­tered or a risk of harm to pa­tients.

“The prob­lem re­lates to how they have been recorded on an elec­tronic sys­tem and sub­se­quently sched­uled.

“How­ever, please be as­sured that GPs hold chil­dren’s full im­mu­ni­sa­tion and vaccination records.

“Whilst par­ents may be con­cerned, we would like to pro­vide re­as­sur­ance that this prob­lem is be­ing treated with ut­most ur­gency.

“If any er­rors re­lat­ing to the sched­ul­ing of vac­ci­na­tions are found, par­ents will be fully in­formed at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.

“Par­ents are ad­vised to con­tinue at­tend­ing sched­uled vaccination ap­point­ments, which will still carry on dur­ing this process.”

The er­rors mean hun­dreds of par­ents may not have been in­formed their chil­dren were due for vaccination

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