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NHS to Switch to Digital Maternity Records

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As part of its improvements to maternity services, the NHS is switching to digital maternity records that make information about a woman’s health easier and quicker to access. The Profession Record Standards Body (PRSB) has produced a standard for maternity care records, which will mean that information from a record can be understood by all IT systems in use across the country, enabling the seamless exchange of information regardless of local maternity system boundary.

The maternity record standard has now been professionally endorsed. This will support digital maternity records across England, by ensuring that information is recorded consistently and can therefore be shared more easily between healthcare services. The next step will be publishing instructions, in the form of an Information Standards Notice (ISN). Along with the publication of the ISN, the standard will be piloted. NHS Digital are currently recruiting suppliers and providers in England to take part in this pilot stage.

Implementation will happen in the following stages:

  1. The pilot will see clinical system suppliers and health and care providers implementing the standard and digitising records. This will be carried out during Q4 2018/19 and Q1 2019/20.
  2. The ISN will be issued in Q1 2019/20. These instructions inform service providers that the maternity record standard needs to be adopted and the timeframe for doing this, along with the relevant guidance materials.
  3. The ultimate aim is for the maternity record standard to be implemented, and able to be shared where needed, between different systems by November 2020.

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