This case study provides an overview of the roll-out process of the CATCH (Common Approach to Children’s Health) service, using the example of Knowsley, a borough in Merseyside.

In brief

Following commissioning of CATCH across Cheshire and Merseyside through the Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Vanguard (CMWC), steps were taken to collaborate with Knowsley Council and CCG to launch CATCH in the area.


Back in 2014 the Five Year Forward View called for a “radical upgrade in prevention and public health” by creating a future that empowers patients to hold  more control over their health. With this in mind and to combat the issue of unnecessary A&E attendances in children under five, CATCH was developed in collaboration with Cheshire East. The aim of CATCH is to ease the sense of information overload which parents and carers can experience during pregnancy and  a child’s early years. It does this by providing articles from the NHS as well as national charities and organisations in one place together with details of  local services and support.

Everything in CATCH is approved by local clinicians so there’s no worry that the information is not trusted and reliable. Additionally, CATCH takes a
proactive approach and delivers information to the parent’s phone that is relevant to every stage of the child’s development, as it happens.

Following its early success in Cheshire East, CATCH was commissioned by CMWC to roll out across Cheshire and Merseyside. CATCH has since rolled out to five
further CCGs, including Knowsley.


At time of deployment, Knowsley’s A&E attendances for children under five were significantly higher than the national average, as were a number of other
target health indicators, including: smoking at time of delivery; breastfeeding initiation and prevalence and children with one or more decayed, missing or
filled teeth. Additionally, it felt important that the national problem of declining vaccination rates be addressed.With the population of adults in possession of a smart phone increasing every year, it made sense that an app could be helpful in reaching a good proportion of parents and carers in order to deliver relevant health information addressing these challenges.

As health professionals are often very busy individuals it was vital that any roll out not be invasive and fit in with existing roles.

Solution and early implementation

As CATCH already provided information across the aforementioned challenging areas, it felt like a good fit for Knowsley. Following discussions with Public Health, CATCH was launched in Knowsley in March 2018.

A multi-phase deployment process was identified as a result of CATCH’s roll-out across Eastern Cheshire. Phase one included meeting with both Public Health and the CCG to pinpoint relevant teams and boards through which to promote CATCH. A local GP was also identified to approve custom content. To minimise additional work, the nominated GP regularly received content for approval through an ‘article viewer’. This showed content as it would be viewed on the app.

Professional engagement

Phase two involved face to face engagement with local professionals and began in April 2018. Initial contact was made with Early Years and Children’s Centres who were eager to recommend the app to parents. Children’s Centres in Knowsley work with Health Visitors to provide sessions on managing minor illnesses in children and professionals saw CATCH as a useful tool to complement the service by allowing parents to look at relevant advice at home after sessions.

The CATCH team also engaged with local leisure centres, hospital midwives and children’s nurses, health visitors, therapists, family nurse partnership and libraries as well as the operational lead and quality matron for North West Boroughs Healthcare. Steps continue to be taken to reach out to GPs, Practice Managers and Practice Nurses as well as a wide range of other local services.

All professionals received flyers and/ or CATCH business cards to support their recommendations to parents.


Finally, phase three consisted of target engagement across the area. CATCH held a presence at Knowsley’s ‘Feel Good Festival’, where a Health Promoter was able to answer any questions and hand out flyers to prospective users. This was an event well attended by parents and grandparents and was useful for getting the word out directly to parents.

Additionally, a Health Promoter attended ‘Words and Pictures’ sessions held in libraries for under fives and explained benefits of CATCH before sessions started. This enabled parents and carers to have the chance to ask questions and to see how CATCH could be used to help them.

Flyers have been distributed across Knowsley and CATCH presentations have also been submitted for display on information screens across surgeries and in libraries. Midwives have confirmed that flyers are being included in information packs to expectant mothers in Whiston Hospital.

CATCH continues to grow in Knowsley, with support from not only health and social care professionals but also schools, Police and other local services.

At only eight months, CATCH remains new to Knowsley. It is hoped that as it continues to be adopted by parents it will allow them to make informed, healthy decisions about their children’s health and wellbeing.

To find out more about CATCH email or visit