The Department of Health is introducing a £9m child protection information system to log children who visit A&E in hospitals. The software will flag to doctors and nurses if the child is subject to a child protection plan or is being looked after by the local authority.
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According to Channel 4 News, the information stored on the system will be used as part of medical staff’s overall clinical assessment, as it will also provide details about where and when children have previously received treatment, if they are a frequent visitor to A&E, and if they had required urgent care in the past.
The database was announced by health minister, Dr Dan Poulter, who hopes the changes would prevent tragedies of children dying from abuse, such as Baby P and Victoria Climbie.
"Doctors and nurses are often the first people to see children who are victims of abuse,” said Poulter.
"Up until now, it has been hard for frontline healthcare professionals to know if a child is already listed as being at risk or if children have been repeatedly seen in different emergency departments or urgent care centres with suspicious injuries or complaints, which may indicate abuse.”
The new system will begin to be used in hospitals in 2015.