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.
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.
CP-IS focuses on improving the protection of children who have previously been identified as vulnerable (child is subject to a child protection plan (CPP), a looked after child (LAC), or a mother of an unborn child on a pre-birth protection plan) by social services when they visit the following NHS unscheduled care settings:
- emergency departments
- walk-in centres
- out-of-hours GPs
- minor injuries
- paediatric wards
- maternity units
- ambulance services.
CP-IS links the IT systems of NHS unscheduled care to those used by the children’s safeguarding teams and the children in care teams, so that the CP-IS alert is visible to the clinician, and a notification is sent to the child’s social worker within the local authority that the child originates from. This enables an open dialogue earlier between:
- children’s social care, and
leading to an earlier intervention (where needed) for the most vulnerable children and young people.
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.
Information is only shared in the following circumstances:
- for all children who have a child protection plan
- for all children and/or 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 protection plan.