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SMaRT 4 NIPE (S4N) is up and running

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Newborn and Infant Physical Examination

The new Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) IT system, SMaRT4NIPE (S4N), went live on 1 April 2019. Easier to use than its predecessor, S4N has a cleaner appearance and better functionality.

Many trusts worked hard to get S4N live on schedule and we want to thank everyone that helped.

First trusts to use S4N

Several trusts began using S4N after going live at midnight on 31 March 2019. They were:

  • Medway at 00.23am to record a birth
  • Cornwall at 00:50am
  • Wye Valley (Herefordshire) at 1.17am, and
  • Lincoln County Hospital at 4.23am to screen and record a baby on S4N
A screenshot of the S4N database with the word 'welcome' at the top.
A screenshot of the S4N database

A bright start for S4N

The feedback for S4N has been positive. Users reported that they find the system user friendly and the improvements beneficial to their trusts. One user said:

If you can use a smartphone, then you can use S4N.

How was it for you? A Trust’s experience

Claire Parr is a Public Health Midwife at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She said:

When I first found out that we were getting a new NIPE system I was mixed with excitement and then apprehension. Just how were we going to get ALL the NIPE practitioners trained by the ‘go live’ date?’

Fortunately, and as always, the PHE NIPE programme team were very prepared. They provided plenty of dates to ‘train the trainer’. Following this training, I felt reassured that the system itself was going to be a lot simpler to use, much to the relief of some of my more technophobe colleagues!

To access all the practitioners, I put on several dates for their training across both hospitals. To their credit, most attended one of the dates advertised, even without offer of cake bribery. Those that couldn’t attend, I arranged as one-to-one or smaller groups.

After the go live date, we’d had a couple of hiccups associated with the national launch, but I’m proud to say that our local NIPE practitioners were cool, calm and collected (even if I wasn’t!). Our well embedded failsafe ensured that none of our babies were forgotten.


What took place before the launch

Several activities took place before S4N went live. These included:

  • carrying out 43 online sessions from January to March 2019
  • training 300 + trainers
  • local cascade training
  • doing checks on the trusts' systems
  • checking active people using the system
  • scheduling for the country to ‘go live’ at midnight on 31 March 2019

Not all plain sailing

These issues were identified, managed and resolved as a matter of urgency. They included:

  • system fault (not permitting screening results to be saved)
  • printing error (letters and work list could not be printed)
  • database issues

Overall, the S4N launch was a success, and we hope that other trusts benefit from using the new system.

PHE Screening blogs

PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.

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