Saturday, 22 March 2014

Welcome IT from the National Health Service in England

Having been a fervent opponent of ContactPoint and a strident critic of both eCAF and ICS, some readers may assume that my response to IT systems in child protection is invariably negative. 

That would be a mistake. The NHS CP-IS (Child Protection Information Sharing Project) is in my view exactly what is required and it is a great pity that it wasn’t developed and implemented many years ago, rather than having to wait while policy makers played fast and loose with poorly conceived IT systems of no proven worth, such as ContactPoint.

Unlike those other systems CP-IS has a clear and comparatively simple objective. It aims to inform NHS medical staff treating a child (1) whether that child is either subject to a child protection plan or looked after by the local authority and (2) to tell local authority children’s social care staff if a child who is subject to a child protection plan or who is looked after receives NHS care.

That means that if a child who is, for example, subject to a child protection plan is taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of either a local hospital, or one in another town or city, staff at that hospital will know that s/he is subject to a child protection plan and subsequently her/his social worker will be informed that the hospital visit has taken place.

You can discover more about CP-IS at:

I think the architects of CP-IS are to be congratulated for designing a system which only exchanges small amounts of data about a small number of children in circumstances which are entirely justifiable. My only reservation about the system is that it seems it will only be implemented in England. I think there should be a single joined up system for the whole of the UK.