NSPCC: 'Quality of staff' more important than database
Lisa Harker, head of strategy at the NSPCC has welcomed the announcements of plans to log children's visits to A&E on a national database, but has said that it is "down to the quality and the skills" of the professionals involved.
DoH: Records will help medical staff build a fuller picture
Under the Government's new plans, a flag will appear on a child's medical record if they are subject to a child protection plan or are being looked after by the local authority
According to the Department of Health, doctors and nurses will be able to use this information as part of their overall clinical assessment, along with information about where and when children have previously been receiving urgent treatment.
This will help them build up a better picture of what is happening in the child's life so they can alert social services if they think something might be wrong.
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.
Providing instant access to that information means vulnerable and abused children will be identified much more quickly - which will save lives.