Child Protection Information Sharing: An integration mission to protect vulnerable children

InterSystems has been working with NHS trusts to enable streamlined adoption of Child Protection Information Sharing. Pioneers could now offer lessons for national acceleration.

Set up to help save lives, Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS) launched in 2012, to provide frontline unscheduled care professionals with access to pertinent but vital information – background that can quickly inform a decision to contact relevant social services when a child may be at risk.

Doctors and nurses are able to instantly see, via a flag on the child’s record, if the individual they are treating is subject to a child protection plan or is being looked after by the local authority.

CP-IS has started to enable important results for safeguarding. Approximately 60,000 at-risk children are so far covered, but there is a long way to go to create the national picture necessary to protecting children whichever unscheduled care provider they visit in any part of the country.

With only 14% of health organisations and fewer than a third of local authorities using CP-IS as of March 2017, renewed vigour for widespread adoption is now being encouraged from the centre.

Important lessons can be learnt from pioneer adopters where CP-IS has been deployed with relative ease, to now help health and social care organisations across the country protect children.

Where trusts have made deployment easy:

• Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust became the first NHS provider to go live with real-time access to CP-IS in 2014. Determined to spearhead national adoption, the trust concluded that it would be too costly and time-consuming to develop and certify integrations between its individual IT systems and NHS Digital’s centrally held CP-IS database. Instead the trust worked with InterSystems to connect to CP-IS, using the HealthShare informatics platform, accredited by NHS Digital.

• Child protection information is transmitted securely from local authority IT systems to the central NHS Spine. InterSystems HealthShare is used to access the Spine and incorporate CP-IS information into the hospital’s electronic patient record (EPR) to notify professionals when they are treating a vulnerable child.
• Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, already had HealthShare in place when it embarked on its mission to connect frontline staff to CP-IS. It is now using HealthShare for a real-time connection to the Spine 2 national patient demographics database, and direct access to CP-IS.

• The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has started to drive CP-IS adoption throughout its region, following a go-live using HealthShare to deploy CP-IS “out of the box”. The trust went live with CP-IS, flagging vulnerable children on the trust’s Symphony emergency department system.

CP-IS will become increasingly effective in safeguarding the most vulnerable children as more NHS organisations and local authorities come on board. Policy makers, regulators, the NHS, local authorities and the government each have a role to play in achieving important widespread adoption, so that vulnerable children can be protected wherever they are.


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