A community healthcare trust has taken the first steps towards having a paperless immunisation process.

Using software developed by NDL, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust is hoping to create online consent forms in a bid to reduce clinical risk.

The trust is responsible for the immunisation of up to 150,000 children per year and currently, paper parental consent forms are delivered to patients.

However, this process is seen to be time consuming, with the risk of forms potentially getting misplaced between being sent home and returned to the immunisation team.

Starting from 2018, parents will be invited to submit the information online through a secure electronic form, which will be stored in a database within the trust.

This means the trust will no longer need to manage and store paper and it is also hoped the security of the data will be improved.

Sheila Roberts, clinical service manager of immunisations at the trust, said, “Our South London immunisation teams are excited about the prospect of e-consents.

“With more than 150,000 consent forms to be distributed and returned next academic year, we needed to revolutionise the service, and this is our new innovation in readiness for GDPR.”

In a separate story in January, Digital Health News reported on the results of a study that suggested more than two-thirds of patients prefered digital communications from their healthcare provider over those sent via post.