Feature

Smart projects: Five councils deploy a secure child protection register to help NHS

Joint website enables notification of a child’s hospital admittance

Five local authorities are sharing an index of social care records with the NHS in a bid to identify when vulnerable children are admitted to hospital.

Hampshire County Council, Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and Winchester City Council have developed a secure website that can be used to search for social care records.

Although website users do not have access to the records, they can spot whether any of the five authorities’ children’s services departments hold care records.

Employees working at NHS accident and emergency units can notify social workers at the different councils when vulnerable children are admitted to hospital.

Hampshire County Council said, “NHS hospitals had great difficulty in accessing social care information and equally social services departments could not access NHS websites or systems.”

The joint child protection system first went live with the Hampshire Shared Secure Environment when both Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council set up access to their care record indices online. The councils set up a server to isolate their social care systems from the users in the NHS.

When a search is made on a child’s name, the request is sent to a Juniper Networks Neoteris reverse proxy appliance. The appliance then passes the request on to the five councils’ social care systems.

The care records systems confirm to the Neoteris device whether they hold the records. The Neoteris device notifies the accident and emergency units of the results.

With a reverse proxy appliance, the request for information is made from the internet. With a proxy appliance, the request is made from within the organisation’s firewall; the appliance is connected to the internet rather than the device making the request.


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This was first published in June 2006

 

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