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A&E database to prevent mistreatment of children ‘long overdue’, says Redbridge cabinet member

Thursday, January 3, 2013
2:52 PM

Plans for an A&E database to help prevent the mistreatment of children are a “very good idea” and “long overdue”, says Redbridge’s cabinet member for children’s services.

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The Child Protection Information System will allow medical staff to check if a child has been a regular visitor to A&E and if they are subject to a child protection plan.

Cllr Alan Weinberg said: “The government has learned lessons from Baby P and we must move forward and implement a better system. This a very good idea and long overdue. If parents and carers are determined to abuse, they are likely to move around and it is right that doctors are able to tell others what is happening.

“However, the data must be protected and used in the correct way, not just available at a click of a button.”

The new system, which will make a log of every child attending A&E and out-of-hours GP services on an online database, is expected to be in all hospitals by 2015.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes said: “I think the database is necessary but it is very important that the information contained in the system is safeguarded.

“There is definitely a security issue that has to be addressed and access to it should be limited.

“Sadly, there is a minority of children that are mistreated and they must be protected.

“I think most parents will welcome the database, but unfortunately there is a danger of human error which can cause problems. The records must be accurate.”

Caroline Moore, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust’s divisional nurse director for A&E, said: “We take the issue of child protection extremely seriously, and this system will be an important step forward.

“Our safeguarding lead will be working with the emergency department team to ensure that processes and systems are put in place in line with national guidance.”

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