SOCIAL services bosses are set to trial new hi-tech child protection measures - which may help to prevent deaths in cases like the Baby P scandal and the case of an East Lancashire 15-month-old.

Under the new regime, information about at-risk youngsters will be shared between social workers, health professionals and other agencies at the touch of a button.


The system, part of a deal by the authority with Liquidlogic, could reduce the risk of infant tragedies like the death of Peter Donnelly, known as Baby P, and Charlie Hunt, from Earby, who was murdered by his mother’s boyfriend after a catalogue of abuse.

Darren Newton is now serving a life sentence for the killing of Charlie, who was monitored for the first six months of his life by social services but not deemed ‘at risk’ until his death. An investigation later ruled several agencies had failed to spot the potential for harm.

With the fresh link-up, supported by NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the Child Protection - Information Sharing initiative (CP-IS) would be used for youngsters with a child protection plan, looked-after children and for pregnant mothers whose child has a ‘pre-birth protection plan’.

If there are repeated episodes where children attend accident and emergency wards or urgent care centres, this would be considered as a possible indicator for abuse or neglect.

Andrew Sofield, a lead officer for Lancashire County Council, said: “The CP-IS project will enable intelligent information sharing with health partners, to highlight when looked after children or those with a child protection plan present in an unscheduled health setting.

“Child protection has always been at the centre of our work in Lancashire and our determination to go live with CP-IS is testament to that.”

The company has been in discussions with 20 other local authorities over CP-IS and also demonstrated the system for Blackburn with Darwen Council earlier this year. Similar talks have been held with a number of north-west NHS trusts.

David Grigsby, the firm’s managing director,said: “Often projects like this are relegated to the ‘too difficult’ pile. However Lancashire County Council has proved their tenacity and ensured the project took off with admirable efficiency. Lancashire has paved the way for other local authorities with CP-IS.”