System delivery function and collection of audit data
NHS Digital currently provides a service to Local Authorities that allows them to make information about vulnerable children (CP-IS flag) available to health professionals via the Child Protection - Information Sharing (CP-IS) system. This is made available for safeguarding and welfare purposes.
The CP-IS system collects health audit data when healthcare professionals access the record. This information is shared with the flag in CP-IS with the recipients and is sent back to the local authorities to inform them of where a child has presented. This health audit data details the previous unscheduled presentations of the child in healthcare (up to 25 presentations).
The CP-IS flag and health audit data is currently shared between:
- local authorities
- emergency departments
- minor injury units
- walk-in centres
- GP out-of-hours services/111
- unscheduled access to maternity units
- unscheduled access to paediatric wards
- ambulance services
NHS England has now directed NHS Digital, under the COVID-19 Public Health NHS England Directions, to establish and operate a system for the collection and analysis of information about child protection in response to the increased risk to vulnerable children due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The purpose is to share child protection information with the current healthcare providers and further care settings, to heighten awareness of the children at risk and enable those with statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, to fulfil their obligations.
The CP-IS will operate in the current settings (as above) for these purposes and be extended to:
- mental health settings (unscheduled and scheduled)
- sexual health settings (unscheduled)
- dental settings (unscheduled and scheduled)
- community paediatrics
View a copy of the COVID-19 Public Health NHS England Directions 2020.
Data sharing and dissemination
Health audit data is collected for audit and monitoring purposes under s254 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, for the purposes of audit and monitoring necessary for managing the operation of the CP-IS system.
This data is made available to the recipients under s261(4) of the Health and Social Act 2012, which allows NHS Digital to make information collected available to those where it could be lawfully disclosed by those NHS Digital collected the information from.
Organisations accessing the CP-IS system all have a legal obligation under s11 of the Children’s Act to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This duty gives a lawful basis to share the information in order to fulfil their obligation.