The Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS) project is an NHS England sponsored nationwide initiative that helps clinicians in unscheduled care settings identify vulnerable children. CP-IS links the IT systems of NHS unscheduled care settings to those used by the Children’s services across England.
Information sharing is identified as a factor in the majority of serious case reviews that take place following the death or injury of a child. Health and social care staff need to share information to help them provide better care and earlier interventions for children who are considered vulnerable and at risk. Children’s Services will be working with these children, young people and their families – children who have a Child Protection plan, are cared for by the local authority (Looked After) or mother’s who have an unborn child protection plan. If that child attends an NHS unscheduled care setting, such as an emergency department or a minor injury unit:
- the health team is alerted that they are on a plan and has access to the contact details for the social care team
- the social care team is automatically notified that the child has attended
- both parties can see details of the child's previous visits (up to 25) to unscheduled care settings in England
The ability to correctly diagnose abuse or neglect depends on having a holistic picture of the child, for even the most experienced clinician, the identification of risk during a single attendance can be difficult. CP-IS provides health professionals with prompt and easy access to key social care information. This enables an open dialogue earlier between: parents/carers, children’s social care and health leading to an earlier intervention (where needed) for the most vulnerable children and young people.
Information is only shared in the following circumstances:
- For all children who have a child protection plan
- For all children / young people classed as ‘looked after (ie children with full and interim care orders or voluntary care agreements)
- For any pregnant woman whose unborn child has a pre-birth child protection plan.