Maternity records will soon be accessible from smartphones, NHS England’s chief nurse has said.
Ruth May, who is chief nursing officer for England, told an NHS conference on Thursday that “bulky paper records would soon be banished” and pregnant women will be able to access their records from their own electronic devices by 2023 or 2024.
Paper records can also be kept, depending on the patient’s preference.
Some trusts already offer digital maternity records but the new system will be rolled out across the country to give a standard across the board.
The NHS is investing £52 million to fast-track the plans to ensure all women will have access to all of their maternity notes and information in the next few years.
Ms May said: “Midwives, GPs and other clinicians caring for a pregnant woman will also have easy access to information, no matter where or when the mum-to-be is seen.
“Not only will this help improve the experience for women by reducing the burden of repeating information to each healthcare professional that they see throughout their pregnancy, but it will also improve safety.
“It will help us to ensure the best health and care outcomes by preventing important details from being missed.”
Healthcare providers will be supported to upgrade their maternity information systems so that records kept by different services are fully interoperable.
As part of the rollout, NHS England has hired Julia Gudgeon as the first national digital midwife.
Ms Gudgeon will help support the delivery of the new digital service to women across England.