Alert system to prevent child abuse

Royal Preston Hospital
Royal Preston Hospital
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COUNCIL and hospital bosses have launched a new system to help identify children who are suffering from abuse and neglect.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire County Council are among the first authorities in the country to use the new Child Protection- Information Sharing (CP-IS) system which is designed to help avoid tragic cases, such as Baby P, being repeated.

CP-IS shares non-clinical information about those children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan; looked after children; and any pregnant woman whose unborn child has a pre-birth protection plan.

Healthcare workers will be able to see whether the child has frequently attended emergency departments at the Royal Preston or Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, or urgent care centres over a period of time, which could be an indication of neglect or abuse. The information sharing solution will deliver a higher level of protection to children who have frequently visited multiple urgent care settings.

The system will be rolled out across the country over the next four years, connecting emergency departments, out of hours GPs, walk in centres and councils through a national system to alert clinical staff to those at risk.

Vivien Barnes, lead nurse for safeguarding children at the Trust said: “This system brings information into one place for our staff to access and allows us to see the bigger picture and alert children’s social services if we believe a child is at risk.”

Andrew Sofield, Business Transformation Lead at Lancashire County Council added: “The CP-IS project will enable intelligent information sharing with health partners, to highlight when looked after children or those with a child protection plan present in an unscheduled health setting.”