New Community Health Index (CHI) System

We have concluded a long-standing programme to establish the new CHI system, which went live in October 2023 and is now fully embedded within NHS systems. The new system is a significant improvement in NHS infrastructure as it consolidates legacy systems under one cloud-based technology, enabling consistent identification of patients throughout Scotland. There are many potential benefits associated with new CHI including:

  • the potential to move away from the current numbering format so that personal information is no longer contained within CHI number which would provide better patient confidentiality,
  • better infrastructure, the new system is capable of holding multiple addresses so patient data can be updated from multiple sources, improving the accuracy of patient data,
  • 24/7 functionality.

Discovery work is underway to consider how, and if, the new system should be leveraged to take advantage of these benefits.

COSLA and COSLA’s Digital Office are currently rapidly exploring the benefits of using CHI in Local Government to support Social Work and social care. This will enable better data linkage across health and social care.

Case Study – Expanding the Use of CHI in Social Work and Social Care

COSLA and COSLA’s Digital Office have been exploring the benefits and risk of using CHI in Local Government to support more effective data matching and data sharing.

Engagement is underway with a wide range of stakeholders including Local Government professional groups, NHS colleagues, Third and Independent sectors and people with lived experience to inform our thinking and ensure alignment with broader Local Government and national work.

There are many potential benefits to adopting CHI in Local Government such as:

  • supporting Councils to link data and improve data quality,
  • act as a verification tool for accessing the Digital Front Door and the Integrated Social Care and Health Record,
  • support sustainable person-centred public services and reduce inequalities within Scotland’s current fiscal challenges, ageing demography and recruitment and retention challenges,
  • support integrated health and social care and delivery of better outcomes to people accessing services,
  • reduce duplication in the system,
  • reduce the need for people to repeat information multiple times,
  • increase capacity in an already stretched system.