Child protection information sharing (CP-IS) provides protection to the most vulnerable children in society. These children have been identified as being at risk by social services and CP-IS highlights these children so that dots can be connected when they visit unscheduled care settings such as:
out of hours GPs
minor injuries units
By integrating these services and sharing information, children can be effectively safeguarded from harm. Serious case reviews continue to highlight the danger of not integrating services and the inability to share information is a contributory factor in 60% of serious case reviews. While serious steps have been made in sharing information with the establishment of Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs, more work is required.
A single attendance in an unscheduled care setting is not enough time for even the most experienced clinician to diagnose a potential problem. Having the wider picture is essential. The CP-IS project links together the IT systems of all NHS unscheduled care to those systems that are used by social care child protection teams. By sharing information between these systems, it helps to safeguard the following categories of children:
those with a child protection plan
those classed as looked after (i.e. children with full and interim care orders or voluntary care agreements)
any pregnant woman whose unborn child has a pre-birth protection plan
How do we implement?
We’ve now outlined the importance of the CP-IS project and how it can be critical in safeguarding the lives of children, but how do you go about implementing the solution? Below we have written our top five tips for preparing for CP-IS implementation:
1. Get sponsorship from a business sponsor
In terms of a starting point, you need to get sponsorship from a senior business lead within your organisation. This is incredibly important as you need a nominated individual that will ensure processes are followed and any changes are agreed. They will lead on the project and ensure that the data displayed is used correctly and that business processes are adequate for the running of a CP-IS solution.
2. Communicate the business benefits
Ensure that you have the buy-in of the entire organisation and make sure that everyone knows why it is so important. CP-IS is about sharing sensitive information relating to vulnerable children with NHS colleagues. It is vital for decision making and not simply being implemented to replace communication between local authorities and the NHS. It has been designed to help safeguard the lives of children and enhance the ability to make contact where relevant in adhoc and out of hour’s situations.
3. Engage with Health Partners
Ensure that you speak with your healthcare partners about processes for getting NHS numbers and how to handle any exceptions. An area that has been identified as a challenge is the need to retain 95% of NHS numbers for the Child Protection (CP)/Children Looked After (CLA) cohort. The success of this will be improved if good processes are agreed with the NHS in order to gain missing NHS numbers quickly to allow records to be shared.
4. Review your processes
Check your CP and CLA processes. Ensure that recording includes unborn babies. Customers must be using CP Plans (Careplan functionality) and the CarePlace LAC screens (from within our software) to facilitate the sharing of information. Use of the Child Protection Register or Action Plan functionality is not supported within CP-IS. In this case, we recommend that recording processes are reviewed to ensure that they meet the pre-requisites for CP-IS.
5. Monitoring of responses from NHS
Access to service notifications and response summaries. The local authority will need to put in place a member of their team to monitor errors from the adapter and the responses which can be returned from the NHS spine. These predominantly relate to the NHS number, for example inactive, superseded, no match found and marked as sensitive. There is a list of responses that can be returned and may require further investigation by the local authority. We therefore recommend that there is a role and processes in place for monitoring these notifications.
For those customers who are looking to the future, the recording required to meet the needs of CP-IS data sharing is built as standard within our Platform for Care software. The CP-IS adaptor sits on top of this and supports the sharing of data with the NHS spine in the same way it does with CareFirst.
If you would like to speak to our specialist integration about implementing the CP-IS adaptor, then please contact us for more information.