Calderdale and Huddersfield trust protects vulnerable children with HealthShare


Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust supports child protection and joined-up care using InterSystems technology

InterSystems has announced that Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has chosen the InterSystems HealthShare health informatics platform to access the Child Protection Information Sharing HSCIC service (CP-IS).

Calderdale is the second trust to do so, following Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which began using InterSystems technology to support the project at the end of November.

The trust’s internal team created its tailored Child Protection solution as an extension of existing workflows, designed around the specific needs of the Emergency Department. Leveraging InterSystems technology that was already in place for NHS Number tracking, the new capabilities were implemented quickly and without service disruption, and staff needed only minimal training.

The trust’s Child Protection solution ensures hospital staff immediately receive an automatic alert on the electronic patient record when a child has a protection plan or is classed as looked after, ie having full or interim care orders or voluntary care agreements. Alerts also apply to any pregnant woman whose unborn child has a pre-birth protection plan. By using a HealthShare real-time connection to the Spine 2 national patient demographics database, the trust gets the most-updated information to identify the child, which is then used for direct access the CP-IS.

The key social care information from CP-IS helps authorised care professionals assess in a timely manner whether a child is at risk, ensuring child protection and safe guarding guidelines and processes are followed. This is an important link in providing joined-up care. For clinicians in unscheduled care settings, access to relevant social care information is essential to identify children who may be at risk – regardless of where in England they live or are admitted – as the service works across care settings and local authority boundaries.

CP-IS is a major initiative, led by NHS England and the HSCIC, designed to track admissions in all unscheduled care settings including local authority children’s services (social care), hospital emergency departments, minor injury units, walk-in centres in CCGs/primary care, maternity units, GP out of hours, paediatric wards, and ambulance services. Once the national CP-IS service is complete, it will connect 1,230 NHS settings and 152 local authorities to facilitate the protection of vulnerable children across the country.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust consists of two hospitals – Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. Combined, they have more than 1,000 beds supporting a large local population of 435,000 people, and an increasing number of patients from outside the region who travel to them for care.

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Bernadette Hepper, project manager at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Protecting young people in our care system is of utmost importance. The CP-IS project means clinicians in unscheduled care settings can detect whether a child may possibly be subject to abuse or neglect. We were already using InterSystems HealthShare to track NHS Numbers, so upgrading to include access to the CP-IS was possible with minimal disruption to the current workflow”.