Hertfordshire County Council is live with the Child Protection – Information Sharing (CP-IS) initiative. The Council has worked on the project in conjunction with case management provider Liquidlogic and the Department of Health and is one of the first sites in England to go live. The system will flag to appropriate healthcare staff where a child is the subject of a child protection plan or is looked after by a Local Authority. This will apply in unscheduled health settings, such as emergency departments, GP out of hours services, walk-in centres, ambulance services, maternity and paediatric wards and will also display the contact details of the responsible children’s social care team.
A log of those who have viewed the child protection plan or looked after status for a child, and where, will also be retained for both social care and healthcare staff, enabling them to confirm whether a child has been visiting a range of unscheduled healthcare settings, regardless of geographical location, and this could be an indication of ongoing abuse and neglect. It is important to note that this will only apply to children who are subject to a child protection plan or looked after children or who have been within the last year.
Speaking about the project Ian Anker, LCS Development Manager, Hertfordshire County Council comments: “We are constantly pursuing ways to work together with health and other agencies to protect vulnerable children within the County, the Child Protection – Information Sharing initiative will support us in our efforts with this. In our experience, when a child is subject to a protection plan and suffering from regular episodes of physical abuse, treatment is often sought from this type of unscheduled health setting because traditionally it was difficult to trace, this will no longer be the case. Since CP-IS has been introduced in Hertfordshire, the general feedback that we have had from our practitioners has been very positive.”