A system for sharing information about child protection plans is expected to be running in 11 pilot sites by April 2014.

The Child Protection Information Sharing system, developed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, aims to flag up to NHS unscheduled care providers those children who are subject to a child protection plan.

The business case has now been approved at Cabinet and Treasury level to implement the national system.

Local authorities will upload information on children subject to a child protection plan (including mothers where there is an unborn child affected) every 24 hours.

The system will then flag up the existence of plans and the team responsible to unscheduled care providers such as out of hours GPs, A&E departments and walk in centres. Clinicians will then contact the team for more information.

Richard Griffiths, senior policy officer for vulnerable children at the Department of Health, told EHI Live that this was a “simple system” designed for a very specific purpose – to support information sharing and communication where abuse had already been identified.

“It will save children’s lives,” he said. For the first time, it will allow local authorities to track the use of healthcare facilities even when children are taken out of their area, he added.

Nick Schlanker, system architect, said there would be a range of integration methods to allow NHS users to view the system, including from within the Summary Care Record application, in an existing patient administration system, and via a web service.

“We are not trying to be prescriptive about how your PAS uses CP-IS,” he said. “We are trying to be very facilitative”

Eleven local authorities and 12 NHS organisations will start a pilot next spring; a second wave of 72 local authorities and 174 NHS organisations will follow later next year with roll out to 80% of local authorities by 2015.