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New technology launched to help parents and carers

New technology, hosted on the Greater Manchester Digital Platform, helps parents and carers access support during COVID-19

Parents and carers in Bury and Rochdale can now benefit from a new application digitising early years assessments, allowing them to have more control over their child’s care, thanks to the Greater Manchester Digital Platform.

The Early Years Application is hosted on the Greater Manchester’s Digital Platform, an advanced technology solution that allows data from multiple sources to be re-used by a variety of systems, allowing health and public sector professionals to use and share accurate and appropriate information at a quicker pace.

The Greater Manchester Digital Platform was created to ensure that professionals supporting residents have the right information, at the right time and in the right way. Reporting of this kind is has been developed by The GMCA and GMHSCP to support the transformation and digitisation of public services. The Digital Platform provides the infrastructure that can be rapidly adopted in other priority areas offering an exciting opportunity for this application to be rolled out across the city-region.

The new, first of its kind application, allows parents and carers to access information and support for their child whenever they need it. The app, developed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) with colleagues from the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership and frontline colleagues within the NHS provides support digitally, reducing the need for physical appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Early Years App is transforming the way health information is delivered and shared in Greater Manchester. The app means that paper-based assessments used to review a child’s development up to the age of 2.5 years are now digitised, allowing parents and carers to efficiently complete the assessments online and access their records.

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.

Vikki McClung, Health Visitor for the Radcliffe Team, in the Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation said: “The Early Years App will empower parents to access everything they need to support their child’s development in one place.

“This is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic as it reduces the need for physical contact. It also provides a seamless and really integrated process which will bring all partners together including health, education and most importantly the families to make sure every child is ready for school”.

Cllr Sean Fielding, GMCA Lead for Employment, Skills and Digital Lead, said:

“In Greater Manchester we are dedicated to investing in digital transformation that benefits our residents. The new Early Years Application is helping to join-up our public services to help parents and carers access the support they need quickly and efficiently. 

“The Early Years app is one of the many innovative projects that sit on the Greater Manchester Digital Platform, which was developed to help transform and digitise our public services. The launch of this application has helped us get one step closer to achieving our digital ambitions for Greater Manchester.”

This work will also pave the way for other public service areas to digitally transform the service citizens receive, by digitising paper-based forms, joining up different parts of the system and sharing information safely and securely.