Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust is preparing to be part of the first wave of trusts in the nationwide Child Protection Information Sharing project.
The CP-IS system will flag children identified as vulnerable by social services to NHS staff if they attend A&E or other unscheduled care settings.
The trust is using InterSystems’ HealthShare software to view the alerts on its electronic patient record as an extension of existing workflows, with role-based access via NHS Smartcards.
The project, which will cost £8.6 million in total over the next five years, has been developed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. It will hold information centrally in a secure database, from where it can be accessed via the NHS data Spine.
Natalie Wood, Calderdale and Huddersfield’s paediatric liaison sister and safeguarding lead, told EHI News that the trust was keen to be part of the first wave of the CP-IS project to help influence how its design.
“I think a lot of it is about the fact that safeguarding is rather high up on our agenda, and we wanted to be part of the first wave to be part of its implementation and development.”
Wood said the trust currently uses a manual feed of children subject to local protection plans provided from two local authorities to screen A&E attendances.
Using the HealthShare system to connect to the Spine will provide the trust with the most recent information to identify children at risk and act on any concerns, she said.
Wood said a technical go-live last month had gone well, with test patients successfully returning alerts. The trust is expecting to start performing real-time CP-IS checks before the end of the month.
Another 15 local authority sites are currently preparing to transmit information using the system, while there are a further 18 NHS sites ready to receive the alerts.
The CP-IS project will connect social care, emergency departments, out of hours GP services, walk-in centres, paediatric wards, maternity wards, minor injury units and ambulance services with IT systems used in local authorities’ child protection systems.
The system is expected to be rolled out nationwide by 2018, connecting 1,230 NHS settings and 152 local authorities across England.
The idea is that when a child who has a child protection plan in place, or when child with a ‘child looked after’ status, goes into A&E, an indicator flag will automatically appear, informing staff that this is a child at risk.