Rochdale services benefit from improved technology

CAONS Paris imaheSeveral specialisms within the Rochdale borough Children’s Acute and Ongoing Needs Service have gone live with a full Paris clinical electronic patient record (EPR).

The children’s epilepsy, diabetes and respiratory specialisms and the paediatric nurse practitioners went live with Paris in September 2017. Improvements were also made to the existing Paris documentation used by the children’s community nurses across the boroughs of Rochdale, Bury and Oldham; which were the first teams to go live with the full Paris clinical EPR in 2014.

This was followed by the Community Eye Service (which covers Bury also) which went live with Paris in January 2018.

A full clinical EPR enables every child’s journey through a service to be recorded electronically – from referral right through to discharge.

The system significantly reduces the amount of paper-based forms and records that each team uses. Where a paper-based form is needed, for example prescribing, this will be scanned in and stored within the child’s EPR. The system also has the capability to store scanned images of clinical photos e.g. demonstrating how a wound is healing.

A huge amount of work has gone into preparing for the roll out of Paris within these teams, including creating a range of new electronic forms and improving several existing forms.

In the first three months, the average number of forms completed online by the children’s community nursing team, the paediatric nurse practitioners and the epilepsy, diabetes and respiratory specialisms rose from 71 per week to 128 per week. This is an 80 per cent increase.

Prior to going live on Paris, the Community Eye Service used only paper-based forms. In the first four weeks of using Paris, the team have completed 116 electronic forms per week.


A full clinical EPR offers many benefits for young people, families and staff. It means that all information about a child is in one place, so people only have to tell their story once.

It also makes it quicker and easier for staff to access the information they need, when and where they need it; which, in turn, supports improved and informed decisions about a child’s care.

An EPR also enables better joined up working. For example, if a child receives support from the children’s community nurses and also sees the respiratory specialist and an occupational therapist, each professional can easily see up to date and detailed information about the treatment, medication and support that child is receiving.

It also provides services with improved ability to monitor standards and KPIs (key performance indicators), improved information to maintain existing contracts and bid for new services; increased consistency, completeness and accuracy of data, and better reporting of specific types of assessments and care plans to improve internal benchmarking for clinical activity data.

Finally, establishing full clinical EPRs within services is supporting the Trust to achieve the national NHS challenge of being paper free at the point of care by 2020.

Next steps

Work continues to develop a full clinical EPR for the remaining specialisms within the CAONS. This includes community paediatrics, paediatric occupational therapy, looked after children, paediatric physiotherapy and paediatric speech and language therapy.

Look out for further updates in the coming weeks.