A UNIQUE online resource for expectant and new parents around West Sussex has won a national award as its successful first year ended at a celebration event, above.
Family Assist is the UK’s only one-stop shop of information for growing families, providing advice on a healthy pregnancy through to birth and beyond. It is accessible any time from a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Women can sign up when they become pregnant. More than 3,500 are registered.
The service scooped a Public Sector Paperless Award, which recognises government digital transformation excellence. It won best customer experience at the ceremony in Manchester.
Family Assist has been developed jointly by West Sussex County Council, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust with help from global computer company Oracle.
Family Assist is the brainchild of Kelly Pierce, the county council’s consultant midwife on secondment from Western Sussex Hospitals.
She said the national recognition was a great end to a fantastic first year and showed the service was making a real difference to people’s lives.
“New parents often find themselves flooded with information from lots of places. So, we wanted to put everything they need in one space, which they can access at any time, even if it’s during a 3am feed,” she said.
“Through different agencies working together in this new way, we have been able to bring together midwifery, health visiting and children’s health services in one easy-to-access platform to help families from pregnancy to early years.”
Mums, dads and friends and family they have invited to register can use Family Assist to email health professionals and get tailored information. A live chat feature will follow.