A tool that provides data on protected vulnerable children for the NHS and local authorities is being broadened to include school nurses and health visitors. The response to the coronavirus epidemic is extremely challenging for us all. The NHS Digital’s response is hoping to strengthen protection for all children at risk of abuse during this time, when they may be more at risk.

‘The Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS) is a system that alerts NHS staff when children are subject to a child protection plan, or children designated as ‘looked after’, or pregnant women who have an unborn child protection plan, present at an unscheduled care setting (such as an A&E or walk in centre). It also alerts a child’s social worker when such a visit occurs’.

This system is rapidly being configured so that health visitors and school nurses will also be alerted to details if children are falling under any of the above categories in their school or geographical area. The information will be sent to them via their clinical system from the NHS. Sharing information is a vital part of child protection and safeguarding those most at risk.

‘This extension of the CP-IS service will provide school nurses and health visitors with a reliable source of information on who vulnerable children are in circumstances where the capacity of local agencies is reduced and where existing local information sharing cannot be relied upon. The service is set to be live in London by next week in pilot form before being rolled out nationally as swiftly as possible thereafter’.