A and E database

(226 Posts)
ZebraInHiding Thu 27-Dec-12 14:54:05

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/27/every-child-accident-emergency-dabatase

I thought they did this anyway? Don't they senda note to your health visitor?

Do you agree with it or do you think it will make people worry more? Whilst I can see the good in it, I worry that kids just won't get taken for help any more. Not sure what the solution is though. sad

ZebraInHiding Thu 27-Dec-12 14:55:45
insancerre Thu 27-Dec-12 14:56:06

The previous labour party tried to do this- the difference being that evrey child would be on it so that all concerned with a child could have the same info so children at risk of being abused could be spotted sooner. Contactpoint it was called. The Condems binned it off.

ZebraInHiding Thu 27-Dec-12 15:01:57

I didn't know that (recent to the uk). That's interesting though. Wonder what they feel the difference is now then?

(And apols if there is already a thread about this, I checked in the news section but couldn't see it)

OodKingWenceslas Thu 27-Dec-12 15:52:47

Contactpoint was v useful ( work for children's services and was an early adopter) and would have got more so as it was expanded. It was canned by gov just after all the expensive stuff was done so not really much of a money saver ( probably would have saved a lot of time for SWs & other professionals long term.

We've recently had letters about an NHS database for all people here with an opt out form so that emergency staff could access your records ASAP. Adding CP flag would be easy if that rolls out across the country.

Sirzy Thu 27-Dec-12 15:59:46

I would hope that if done properly this will be a big help when it comes to child protection.

SilentSplendidSun Thu 27-Dec-12 16:07:57

I thought they had something similar to this already. My DD fell from the sofa during one of her high spirited swinging games. Rushed to AE thinking it might be a fracture. Just some swelling seen on the X rays. Dr gave a follow up appointment to fracture clinic just in case.

But we couldn't make it as she came down with the flu. Had to cancel the second rescheduled appointment today morning as well. Someone called back from the hospital and was very insistent that I bring her in at a later date. I assumed it was because she is a child, the injury is taken more seriously. If an adult cancelled, I don't think they would have given a second thought.

So children visiting A&E are automatically monitored, I would have thought. But it did make me defensive, I agree with you OP. my thinking was, "how dare they doubt me?"

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 16:13:35

I don't think this is the solution either.

OodKingWenceslas Thu 27-Dec-12 16:14:37

Think at present it's down to individual hospitals/trusts. Lots of the high profile cases involved more than one hospital. So the hoe would be that crossing borders doesn't help

Sirzy Thu 27-Dec-12 16:15:13

What is in place now is done on a local level whereas the new system will be on a national level.

thegrowlygus Thu 27-Dec-12 16:15:57

Generally, as a GP we do get the A&E attendances from our own A&E department locally, but if a child is out of area we don't necessarily get it or get it very quickly.
It becomes even more of an issue if mum and dad are separated and one lives some distance away as often if health visitors are in different localities they don't get the info automatically passed on. So if someone is abusing their child and using several different A&E departments in different parts of the country and giving different GPs as registered their registered GP it would be relatively easy to 'get away with it'.

So I think it would be good idea. The NHS system isn't as "joined up" as most people assume it is.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 27-Dec-12 16:16:20

My parents would use my sisters date of birth/names/details, and sometimes even my friends.

So this wouldn't have helped me. Although in theory it looks good, I'm not sure that practically it will work for everyone.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 16:17:09

I have a rare condition that if not picked up could look like child abuse, I dislocate joints easily, bruise easily, even with a dx Dr's don't understand it from my experience, do I need to go on?

OodKingWenceslas Thu 27-Dec-12 16:17:44

I thought that caja I'm sorry that it happened to you sad

ZebraInHiding Thu 27-Dec-12 16:20:50

Sorry to hear that caja sad

Yes, it seems it isn't as joined up as I thought. I didn't realise it was so local.

Spero Thu 27-Dec-12 16:23:41

As far as I know every A and E attendance is noted - I certainly got a letter when my daughter nearly lost her finger tip. But it just invited me to call Children's Services if I wanted any help s it was pretty useless if I had been abusing her - no one came to check my home etc.

My worry is that this will simply become part of the check box culture I.e. I have filled in a form, so that's ok. Simply gathering information does NOT protect children. For that you need someone to analyse that info, check for disturbing patterns, weed out genetic conditions etc.

I thought it had been made clear over over again and certainly since Victoria Climbie was murdered, that to protect children, all agencies need to work together, police, hospitals and schools.

I think a data base is fraught with problems, from wrongly entering details to simply just gathering a whole load of info which doesn't assist because no one has the time to do joined up thinking.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 16:35:01

Here is where this country fails, checking out genetic conditions.

What do you do when GOSH has a different opinion to the leading expert in country who advises DWP, regarding a genetic condition? children with my condition have this issue, thank goodness my kids don't go there.

What do you do when SS send parents for MHBP evaluation without first checking for genetic conditions? someone with my condition had to point this out to a sw.

What do you do when a consultant at A&E doesn't understand a rare condition and doesn't give a correct dx, for example my child saw the leading expert he said it wasn't a pulled muscle as per the dx given by a registra and consultant at A&E.

Parents with my condition or with children with this condition will be targeted. It is rare, not that rare and thought to be very underdiagnosed.

I have little faith this will work and believe it will cause damage to innocent families who will never be offered so much as an apology.

OhMittens Thu 27-Dec-12 17:03:15

That must be a real concern, MrsJREwing and I sympathise - I can imagine how distressing it must be to have a rare condition that on the face of it could share the same symtoms displayed by those who have been abused.

However, if a decent "linked-up" system was actually in place, then your condition surely would be noted for example, meaning that an official diagnosis has been made, which would reduce the need to explain for every visit?

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 17:05:39

Our condition has been named in the children's act. The problem is even Dr's don't understand it and it is underdiagnosed.

SofiaAmes Thu 27-Dec-12 17:14:31

I second everything that MrsJREwing has said. My ds has a genetic condition. His symptoms (vomiting, extreme fatigue, migraine, stomach ache, severe colds, high fevers) are not as synonymous with physical abuse as MrsJREwing's are, but it did mean that he was in A&E half a dozen times a year since he was born and I got many comments from health/education professionals along the way implying that I was making up ds' symptoms and/or somehow causing them. Ds' condition is rare enough and symptoms non-specific enough that he was only just diagnosed (with a mitochondrial dna mutation) 8 months ago and he is 12! (He is now being treated with nutrients and is totally healthy.) 2012 was the first year that ds didn't visit A&E.
I wonder how this new system would log in ds' hospital visits?

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 17:14:57

Let me give you an example of how wrong all this linking can get and damage innocent famies? That is professionals harming children!

Due to the condition I once applied for DLA for my children years ago, school brought up the fact I said my child had aniety on the form as "a concern" they are symptoms of the condition.

Later a truancy officer demanded my other child be removed from my care from ss as my child was school refusing, not uncommon with the symptoms of her condition.

A deputy head later demanded ss remove my children due to me emotionally abusing my child, her evidence, my child had a panic attack in school, a symptom of her condition.

I only found this out recently after requesting school files.

My children's origional dx letter from juniour school has been lost from secondary school files hmm and mysteriously a medical letter I never gave the scho is on their files, which explains my dd school refusal to school as part of her condition.

I am in the middle of unpicking what the fuck has been going in behind my back.

I do not trust the system.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 17:22:01

BTW, my children have never been on plans as far as I know from ss. I suspect my GP gave ss that letter behind my back, I suspect to prove to school and truancy woman they were going down the wrong road. I am not impressed private medical information was shared without my permission or knowledge and I suspect it is illegal.

SofiaAmes Thu 27-Dec-12 17:22:38

Again, totally agree with MrsJREwing. My ds missed many many weeks of school over the years. I was meticulous about doctor's letters and all information going into his file. I can't tell you the number of times I had to re-submit reports, letters and information to the school for his file. In 5th grade, ds missed 8 weeks of school (2 intractable multi week migraines, appendicitis, went blind for 3 days from a migraine). On top of this he was on an evil cocktail of mind numbing drugs to treat the migraine. During all of this I submitted multiple doctors letters and kept the teacher and school apprised of all information and collected all homework and kept ds up with all his schoolwork. Teacher's only comment on report card was "missed excessive amounts of school"!!!!

SofiaAmes Thu 27-Dec-12 17:26:36

By the way, MrsJR....you probably know this already, but there has been great success treating genetic conditions with the nutrients missing or not being utilized correctly by the affected metabolic pathways. I don't know if that applies to your/your dc's condition.....

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 17:34:27

Ohhh I don't know. I had a different dx, changed recently so still learning and Dr's seem to know less than me, unless experts. We have gastro issues, me IBS and kids other GI issues.

Dromedary Thu 27-Dec-12 17:35:25

This will inevitably encourage parents (both good parents and those few who abuse) not to take their child to A & E. A&E departments already act as though on high alert if any child comes in. A high percentage of parents who take their children into A&E are referred through to other agencies as suspicious.

clam Thu 27-Dec-12 17:35:46

My dd has been to A&E around half a dozen times for various broken/suspected bits (she's 14). Last time we went (ds 'accidentally' bent her finger back in a fight for the last jam tart!) I was a bit blush with the nurse and asked jokingly if we were on some 'list' and she laughed, looked at her screen and said "good God, no. You last came in on x date, and before that it was y date and z date - no need to worry. You'd have to be in here a lot more than that."

Dromedary Thu 27-Dec-12 17:54:04

I'm sure they're a lot less suspicious with teenagers. And the ethos will no doubt vary between hospitals.
I took my DC then 6 in with a high temperature and vomiting. Had not been in for a v long time before that, with a minor injury. The nurses asked me whether DC had EVER been to A&E before. I said, yes, obviously (doesn't every child have a minor accident occasionally?). They then acted shocked and outraged and got into a bitchy huddle. It only got worse from there.

I'm not worried about this.
My DD was blue-lighted to A&E two weekends in a row - cue visit from the health visitor. The incidents were completely unrelated and not untoward, so a visit was all it was.

I'd rather they are able to spot abused children.

Also, I don't think it would stop me from taking my DCs to A&E if its needed.

ok child comes in to a and e with symptoms. doctors suspect munchausen, or whatever t is called now. look on data base and actually see visits to gps, hvs, and other hospitals, as parentr probably moves around, due to the nature of the munchasuon.
instead of playing detective, the ifnormation is all there.

other scenario, takes dc to hosptial with broken bone, sees on data base other symptoms from other hospitals etc, etc., and input from school, childrne's services, concerns raised from neighbours, and abuse is found out.

what is the harm?>

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:08:50

Keema, what happens is your HV will file that, she may be nice to your face as truancy woman was to mine, all understanding etc then behind your back demanding and fighting with ss, ss will never inform you. Then years later you may as I did get a ss visit and things won't make sence and you will get files and see what went on behind your back years before.

Sirzy Thu 27-Dec-12 18:11:13

Slarty - I agree in principle that in cases like those you mentioned it could help.

I don't think it is some fantastic cure all system though, but I don't think such a thing does exist. It should be an improvement upon the system that is in place now where things vary from area to area and there is no standardised system to keep track on concerns.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:12:12

The harm is one two two years of fucking up innocent famies, one family with the condition had treatment removed from their child for a period, the strain is unbearable. It causes massive harm to innocent people.

I imagine each case costs the tax payer hundreds of thousands for causing harm to innocent people.

Dromedary Thu 27-Dec-12 18:12:54

You're assuming that they will only investigate and potentially intervene with parents who abuse their children. I would bet a great deal of money on your being wrong. Since Baby P there has been a huge swing to veering on the side of safety - which means intervening in families where in fact there is nothing wrong.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:16:40

The organisation for our condition has seen an explosion in false child abuse allegations recently, in families with genuine conditions being treated like criminal child abusers at the first turn guilty before assumed innocent, imho there is something very wrong in this country.

DS's SN means that we have loads of contact with various services including community paeds, social services and a lot of other stuff. I find them to be lovely and helpful.

but baby p and victoria C were such dreadful - preventable - cases.

preventing others with more openess and less secrecy between agencies parents must be worth it.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:22:13

Tell me they are lovely people after you get all copies of your files. [was once nieve too emotion]

OhMittens Thu 27-Dec-12 18:22:40

What's the solution then, to protect those children that really are being abused and taken to perhaps different A&E's on a regular basis? I have been to A&E on several occasions with my DC and have never been made to feel like I am somehow suspect. I am however, very open, co-operative and polite and don't mind any amount of questions even if some are asked twice or three times by different people. I would rather I go through some inconvenience because staff are being thorough than a child who is being abused slips through the net.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:24:14

I don't think it is worth causing harm to my child by the state for any readon, abuse of a child or adult however professionals excuse it is abuse, and they are abusing vulnerable families in this day and age.

Dromedary Thu 27-Dec-12 18:25:11

It is misleading to talk about Baby P and Victoria C as a reason for this kind of over-suspicion.
Both of those children were well known to SS as being at risk, and SS and/or the health service messed up hugely. In the Baby P case the doctor missed a broken back, FFS.

LaCiccolina Thu 27-Dec-12 18:26:48

Yes I like the idea that patterns can be spotted. Obviously I don't want kids abused in any way.

Why though does everyone have to be treated suspiciously to get that? If dh takes dd to H will he be viewed worse or will I? (Munchausen?!) accidents do actually happen, despite what health and safety would have u believe. Child abuse is still a minority an extremely sad /terrible one but nevertheless it is minority. I'm against the continual employment of databases as if they will cease all horrendous things in the world. It's just ridiculous.

I just don't see the conspiracy. We've had TAC meetings, the DCs have gone to A&E when they need to and the doctor when they need to. I've never been treated in any way but well and no one has looked askance at me or DH.

Do I think this will mean that lots of innocent parents will be suspected of abuse or become at risk of their child being removed - no I don't.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:29:42

The thing is this munchousens they are wetting themselves over was invented recently by the disgraced Roy Meadows who invented the incorrect odds regarding cotdeath, Sally Clark rip.

piglettsmummy Thu 27-Dec-12 18:30:53

It would make me nervous to take dd in. Although were regular visit to children's ward we have been to a&e 3 times but Hve been recently assessed by social services as I was reported to them. Case was closed with he social worker saying I shouldn't have been reported but I would be nervous to take her incase ss came to check up on us afterwards I think it is an awesome idea in terms of preventing another baby p cAse like I was recommended for but I would be worried to take her in x

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:31:43

Professionals were lovely to me and the others with our condition, then you see what is said about you behind your back when you ask to see files.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:33:05

Then like Piglettsmummy you are "known to ss"

Muchausens by proxy (or fastidious illness) has been around for a lot longer than Roy Meadows. It tends to manifest itself with someone deliberately making their child ill, or pretending that their child is ill - ref Here where a mother pretended her child had cancer.

This is a long way removed from a child being taken to A&E multiple times with a range of unexplained injuries or illnesses. If the database can pick up that a child is being taken to a range of different A&E departments with unexplained injuries, that's going to set the klaxon's going much quicker than a child who has been in A&E a few times.

Sabriel Thu 27-Dec-12 18:36:50

keema, it might not stop you from taking your DC but it might stop an abuser from taking theirs. There was a case not long ago where a little girl died from having been scalded in the shower. Her mother wouldn't take her to A&E or the GP because she knew she'd get into trouble and the child died of septicaemia.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:39:02

You didn't link to the family falsley accused of munchousens, a few stories down "in the news" who the judge slammed ss.

That fake cancer woman had a personality disorder that manifested in her gaining money by using her child and falsifying dr's letters for dla.

LittleBairn Thu 27-Dec-12 18:40:19

Surely this puts children at risk, people wont take children to A&E when they should in order to avoid a 'visit' from the authorities.

I dread to think what would have happened to my sister and I as children, we both fractured our skulls as tots. Two complete different accidents both happend while alone with my mum ( although I was responsible my my sisters ) there is a high chance that she would have been looked upon suspiciously.

munchauson by proxy is now known as fabricated and is quite rare.

I still think its a good thing to try and protect children. The people who are abusing their children so badly that they have to go to A&E may not be taking them anyway. Saying that its better that they can take them in the knowledge that no one will follow it up if they are taking them to multiple departments so they can carry on abusing their child, doesn't exactly make it better does it?

That fake cancer woman had a personality disorder that manifested in her gaining money by using her child and falsifying dr's letters for dla.

I don't get your point as thats's what Muchausens by proxy is. Pretending your child has an illness that they don't. It can also manifest by physically injuring their child for the same effect.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one!

LittleBairn Thu 27-Dec-12 18:53:38

But it's not always abusive parents who make bad choices. What about good parents who have accident prone children getting investigated. The next time the child has an accident they may decided to stay at home.

Recently I decided not to get an injury checked out because I knew there was a chance they would look at my husband suspiciously. He accidentally shut my arm in a van door, luckily it didn't break but there was a few hours when I was uncertain.

but surely you are more likely NOT to take your child to A & E if you are abusing them?
not attend appointemnts,
and you might ahve appointments in a vareity of spiecaliaties and this way the information of your non attendance would be there.

school and play gorup should be on the ball to notice injuries. etc., non treatment.

MrsJREwing Thu 27-Dec-12 18:58:29

I think she has a personality disorder one where you have no empathy npd/antisocial , you think she has mhbp as you say we will have to disagree.

MHBP or FII is supposed to be rare, about 70 cases worldwide, so why were dozens of people with a rare condition being accused of it, the stats don't fit.

One family won their case against a famous hospital, the hospital withdrew care from a child who was ill, the hospital lost in court, the child is slowly recovering from the damage that hospital did. The hospital is run on charity money and is now appealing that case with charity money. I know this to be true as the charity of our condition has been involved in the case and they told many of us about this case, I also know the family.

prettysunset Thu 27-Dec-12 19:09:32

I think this should've been rolled out without the knowledge of the general public, but then I'm also in favour of identity cards...nothing to hide...

anothercuppaplease Thu 27-Dec-12 19:13:21

If you look at the last two big cases, Baby P and Victoria Climbie, both children had been seen many, many times by different hospitals, GPs, doctors, nurses. THey had also been seen loads of times by social workers. I remember from child protection training that he was seen or visited 60 times by healthcare professionals and social workers.

But, and it's a big but, the individuals in question did not link up with each other. I don't know if a universal 'knowledge management' system or 'information database' would have helped but still, someone has to be there to link up the information together and see the bigger picture.

I think that if this initiative links up with social services' database, all GPs, all A&Es, all out of hour GPs, nurses, HVs then it is a good system but and it's another big but, a group of people somewhere has to be in charge of spotting the patterns of abuse, raising the alarm, and FOLLOW IT UP. Sorry about shouting but this is what happens too often - the abuse is spotted, reported, investigated, but the decision making process to remove a child from their family is too slow and not done effectively. This initiative costs £8.6 million. I wonder how many more social workers could be trained and measures put in place to help not only spot or connect (this is all the database will do) clues that there is abuse, but act upon it...

and stop the cutbacks to social services for starters!

colleysmill Thu 27-Dec-12 19:17:21

Maybe I'm being a bit slow today but are they expecting a&e to notify ss directly or just escalating the information to professionals already involved (GP, hv etc)

Good practice states that any referrals made to ss should be discussed with the family before being made with the exceptions being fabricated illness and if it is felt that any discussion would place a child in significant risk of further harm.

In fabricated illness I understood a and e attendance is only one part of the jigsaw and that usually there are other multiple attendances at services elsewhere.

Often in high profile cases the biggest failing is poor communication between services involved. As services in social care and the nhs become more fragmented with alternative providers being involved I can see this might be one step to manage this but I can understand the misgivings about it.

anothercuppaplease Thu 27-Dec-12 19:22:11

I an not sure but the database would 'flag up' a number of children who are considered 'at risk'. If the family has an assigned social worker, if there is suspected abuse reported elswhere, BBC says 'Under the new system, children arriving at a hospital accident and emergency or urgent care centre will be checked on the NHS computer system. That will clarify whether the youngster is on the register for children considered to be at risk, or in council care. The system is also intended to make it easier for doctors and nurses to see if patients had other emergency admissions elsewhere in the country.'

piglettsmummy Thu 27-Dec-12 19:31:53

I've just read that link to the story about that woman how faked her sons illness! Absolutely awful!! That poor boy shock

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 19:32:58

There are measures already in place so why is the Government trying to reinvent the wheel? confused

After the tragic death of Victoria C the then Labour Government introduced the policy 'Every Child Matters', the sharing of information between agencies was a key point to this. The NHS have since attempted to 'upgrade' their IT systems so that hospital A can find out whether a child has been previously admitted to hospital B. In the mean time, when a patient is triaged the staff can see whether there is SS involvement with the family (usually), all previous attendances etc. Once a child is discharged from A&E, even if it's for a cut finger, a letter is automatically sent to that child's GP/HV or school nurse. They do look at them and will speak to the family if there's a pattern. If the hospital staff are concerned about a child who is in the department they contact the the paediatrician in charge of child protection or the child's HV/SS straight away. The GP/HV/School nurse know which children are on the at risk register and they do already share information.

I've no idea whether the current Government have scrapped this, but it sounds to me as though they are trying to take the credit for something that was already there, or have realised that they have scrapped something which benefits children so are bringing it back. It's all bollocks, basically.

Makes me question why they are doing this now? Baby P's death wasn't a recent thing so shouldn't something have been done before now? Vigilance is the key not another hair brained policy. It's the nursing staff who flag issues up, so better training on how to spot non accidental injuries will be far more effective.

colleysmill Thu 27-Dec-12 19:35:27

So working logically currently a+e , ooh etc send a report a notification that you attended (this happens here anyway) and then the GP practice then pass that info on to relevant sw

With the new database they can notify the SW already involved direct?

but lady mary, if this information is on the computer, which it currently -issnt-, instead of expecting paeds to contact ss to ask . the ifnoramtion will be shown on data base

MrsDeVere Thu 27-Dec-12 19:38:29

We need to do something
Parents of abused children do take them to A&E but they tend to delay attendance and have convoluted stories as to why they are there.
This is why training is SO important. A database is useless unless medics are well trained in spotting signs of abuse.

In my area the follow up is woeful. I have complained about it.
I have 5 children. I have been up to A&E more times than I can count. Sometimes you will get a photocopied letter that says (I have ranted about this before on MN)
'We have been trying to contact you about your recent attendance at A&E, with no success ,please contact xxxxxxx at xxxxx CC'

This is sloppy safeguarding. They do not bother to contact (there is always someone at home, I know they didn't phone), you are asked to call a nursery nurse at the local children centre who is obviously not medically trained, when you call them you cannot get through and they do not return your call.

BUT procedure has been followed, a box has been ticked. This is worse than doing nothing IMO.
AND stating that they have been trying to contact you without success can look very bad on record if a family has already had intervention from SS.

I have concerns about the database. I have done a lot of safeguarding training with my LA. TBH I was bloody appalled at the attitude of the facilitators and will not be doing it with the again. Any attempt to discuss the challenges faced by parents of disabled children was met with a 'oh so you don't think disabled children deserve protection?' hmm

No, I was trying to have a conversation about children who self harm, who may need restraining, who eat compulsively, who have no sense of danger, who wander in the night etc etc.
What happens when you come up against a 23 year old doctor with NO experience of what it is like living with a child with challenging behaviour?

Will the database kick off a fantastic pathway of practical and emotional support?
Will it buggery.

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 19:38:43

That's what the old computer system was designed to do it was scrapped IIRC.

Sirzy Thu 27-Dec-12 19:38:47

Lady - when they are triaged at our local hopsital nothing like that is flagged up. They ASK the parents about it but that's it. Infact notes are stored off site so they have no history unless that patient is admitted.

The system as it is now doesn't work, there are to many variations of it and not enough communication between agencies.

anothercuppaplease Thu 27-Dec-12 19:39:24

It was scrapped because it was too 'bureaucratic'.

I don't think the 'processes' have been changed, ie send letter to GP, way of reporting suspected abuse. But the information platform or database was not helping solve the problem. For example, a A&E doctor would see a child with a broken arm, and maybe a few other bruises, and follows the procedures in place. But she/he cannot check as the treatment is administered, if the child already has a social worker, or has visited another A&E within the last months, or has had the other arm broken twice, or is living with parents who hae already been visited by social workers and are on the social care system.

The new database provides this information as the child is there, at A&E, or GP. Does that make sense? That's how I understand the news articles anyway.

yes, i thought it was scrapped,
so tis bollocks indeed,
the tories just trying to take credit,

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 19:41:12

I'm with MrsDeVere on this. Training is the key. The junior doctors don't get enough training to spot non accidental injuries. They are in each department for a very small amount of time and their hours are reduced thanks to the working time directive.

Sirzy Thu 27-Dec-12 19:43:50

I agree Mrs.

I think it would be great if this system highlighted child x has been admitted a lot/with something serious lets make contact to ensure all is well and further support isn't needed. I know that's supposed to happen now but it doesn't in my experience.

My 3 year old has been in A and E more times than I can remember and admitted about 15 times. I know the HV has been informed of these visits yet I have only been contacted by her once to ensure all was ok and that was after the least serious visit! I am lucky I have a supportive family but if not as a single mother with a poorly child I could have been struggling and nobody notice.

I think the database has the potential to help but only if properly implemented which I doubt will happen

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 19:43:54

They should never have scrapped the IT upgrade. Fools!

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 19:46:20

Sounds like that's an issue with your HV rather then the computer system, Sirzy. The one I worked with (briefly) spent the majority of her time dealing with families known to SS so other families don't get the time or attention that they need. There needs to be more HV's!

Sirzy Thu 27-Dec-12 19:47:43

I agree lady, but without the systems beyond the computer in place is this database going to achieve anything?

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 19:51:07

Yes: waste money.

I doubt very much that this will cost £9 million, ten times this maybe. I wonder how much it will cost to complete the old IT system? I recon this is what they are going to do.

MrsDeVere Thu 27-Dec-12 19:52:35

HVs are incredibly overstretched. I work with Under 5s and the HVs I have contact with are only really working with families with significant issues.

They have fleeting contact with other families but cannot build relationships because they are firefighting.

I know HV get a bit of a bashing on MN and I have had some horrible encounters with them myself, but I wouldn't want to do their job. Its like trying to empty the Thames with a thimble.

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 19:53:06

Oh, 12.7 BILLION! They need to sit and work this out properly. If it can't be done with 12.7 billion, they are not going to manage it with 9 million.

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 19:58:46

The HV used to be a member of the family to new parents, somewhere for them to turn to when parenthood began to take it's toll. They simply don't have the time now, they are far too overstretched. Very few parents set out to abuse their children, it's the most stressful job in the world and stress is one of the key factors in abuse. Families need support so this 9 million (laughs) would be better spent increasing the support availiable (HV's and home start) as it will prevent abuse in the long run. Better to prevent then to spot in my opinion.

Tau Thu 27-Dec-12 20:04:03

I'm not so sure about this. I can see the point, but it would also mean that details of every child who visits A and E are on a database and frankly I am not so convinced about the security of such databases.
Also, people who try to hide the fact that they have abused a child in their care will still try to hide it. Only with this new system they may feel that they can't hide it by simply going to a different hospital, or by lying about what has happened, and they may not take the child to a doctor at all!

LaCiccolina Thu 27-Dec-12 20:04:45

Why does another database have to be deployed? It's like show a government an issue and its "yay lets use a computer to fix it!" "Oooh lets spend money on IT" like they are 12yr old boys let loose in Selfridges TV/computer department.

Every single problem gets a database. This means an IT firm is bidding for the contract. It means YOUR personal information is fed into it and accessed by who knows who for who knows what reasons. A database is administrated by people. People often make mistakes, data is entered wrongly. Data is left on USB sticks in taxis/trains etc.

I'm not suggesting conspiracies just pointing out that money, power and people are involved and whilst every thing can be innocent now, just imagine what could be possible?

I never really thought all the papers/media and Gov/police were in cahoots, but events suggested worrying items. How about Mitchell? All small showings of man made behaviour. The expenses enquiries, hillsborough. Man does nasty things. Why will a computer database remain innocent when man is running it? (By man yup I'm lumping women in here too)

tribpot Thu 27-Dec-12 20:06:02

LadyMary, the NHS IT project you linked to above was a different scheme. The one that has been scrapped and which CPIS replaces was ContactPoint.

ChristmasNamechangeBridezilla Thu 27-Dec-12 20:12:17

As a parent, things like this freak me out. I am not and never will be a child abuser but I get extreme anxiety and paranoia about my children, fuelled by this kind of record-keeping and suspicion by professionals. I know I will be counting my children's medical appointments and fretting about them hurting themselves constantly when this comes in.

Tau Thu 27-Dec-12 20:13:30

Plus, there are other things that could be much improved. As a childminder, I went to a 'safeguarding children' course. I expected to learn ways to effectively help children who I suspected were being abused or neglected. I didn't. Perhaps I was unlucky with my course, but it was mostly about how to legally protect myself from getting in trouble about this. There was very very little about how to protect a child in my care, and what there was was only about children who were in immediate danger.

LadyMaryChristmas Thu 27-Dec-12 20:15:41

Thank you, tribpot. Yet another computer system then! shock

anothercuppaplease Thu 27-Dec-12 20:29:16

I am also a childminder and it is our duty to report suspected abuse, there is a very strict procedure to follow, and all childminders/nurseries legally have to have a procedure in place and follow it if they suspect a child to be abused. That is for all forms of abuse (neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, bullying). I have clear procedures in place and communicate them clearly with the parents. If you are not sure what your role is as a childminder, you should talk to your local authorities right away and ask for more training. There was a childminder involved in the Baby P case and she did know the child was on social services register and did report her concerns.

When I registered to be a childminder about 80% of my interview by ofsted inspector was about child protection and safegard.

The MP who has been promoting it is the MP where i live. Not impressed with him for various reasons...........hmm

McPheastOfStephen Thu 27-Dec-12 20:39:18

My Dd, who was 5 months at the time, was in A&E twice over the course of 3 days. My HV knew as they were informed. I presummed this was standard procedure. Dd had Bronchiolitis.

crkm Thu 27-Dec-12 20:56:15

my dd (7) has been to A and E 5 times. 3 times in one year! I thought that my doctor was informed anyway. thankfully 3 times she was sent through school related issues - as i was worried I would get a call from social services!!

anothercuppaplease Thu 27-Dec-12 20:58:31

Yes but ... imagine you're a doctor, working at A&E. There's a child in front of you with burns, probably from hot water. With new system, you can immediatly see that this child is already on the database because he has a social worker, and there has been let's say, 4 recent visits to A&E because of accidents, or fractures. The new system allows the doctor to have that knowledge, immediatly. With the old system, a doctor could not see that information there and then. The visit to a&e would be registered, followed up, the parents would receive a call or letter from HV, followed up by social services. But the doctor would not be able to have the information there and then and allow her/him to take immediate action by linking all the information together.

lovelyladuree Thu 27-Dec-12 21:28:11

It is great that the government think abused children are rushed to A&E every day. But they aren't. That is the problem.

mumofthemonsters808 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:08:42

My main concern is that neglected injured children will no longer be taken to A & E and will be left to suffer tremendous pysical pain in isolation.Extreme thinking I know, but surely this will stop abusive parents seeking medical attention, please put my mind at rest that this will not be the case.

BoffinMum Thu 27-Dec-12 22:11:49

If you want to find a needle in a haystack, then making the haystack bigger only makes it harder. Abuse is difficult enough to spot without information from 15 million extra kids flooding the system. Better to invest in HVs and so on.

shockers Thu 27-Dec-12 22:40:56

mumofthemonsters, that was my first thought too. While I think it's essential for agencies to communicate, broadcasting this on the news is just going to drive the sort of people who might harm their children intentionally, or through anger, to not take them for medical help when they're hurt.

Angelico Thu 27-Dec-12 23:27:02

Sorry not read all but as others have no doubt said: this will worry good parents with accident prone kids AND abusive bastards will avoid seeking medical help for children who really need it sad

MrsSham Thu 27-Dec-12 23:38:10

Contact point was scrapped because it was over buerocratic and was not being implemented effectively by professionals. It never really got underway nationwide and so one county could not really connect with another. The problem lays with professional education with regard to multi agency information sharing. All the data bases in the world can be linked up but if professionals do not see the value in it it will not be used effectively. The problem is really about professionals not understanding what information is safe to share and what information is crucial to share and that is through not understanding data protection and a lack of safeguarding training.

MrsSham Thu 27-Dec-12 23:39:34

I ment to also add inter professional training in degree programmes has also now been scrapped and that is because it is a fruitless task where social workers doctors salt etc spend two weeks building a board game and carrying out data analysis tasks and not true safeguarding training.

ChoccoPuddo Thu 27-Dec-12 23:46:58

I have been reading this thread with interest. I have three children born from 1990 through to 2012. The key to tracking and safeguarding children at risk does not lie with this 'new' idea it begins the moment babies are born from the first midwife visit and HV visit then moving on to the baby clinic and beyond.

It is too late by the time they reach A&E. Since my first dd came along the level of involvement from various professionals has declined drastically. It is partially due to NHS cuts in health workers that more children go unnoticed and become harmed through neglect and abuse.

The amount of contact I had with my first dd is incredibly different to what I have experienced this year. 1990, I had to attend baby clinic weekly and if I didn't there were enough HV to visit and check to see if we were ok. My dd had many compulsory check ups throughout the year including 6 month, 8 month, 1 year then 18 months and 2 and 3 year checks.

With dd2 who came along in 2006 most of these check ups were stopped due to cuts and we thought it was a shame as you like to have the little red book with all the developmental bits and pieces in, I know I did. The flip side of this is vulnerable children are far far more likely to slip through the net of the professionals who are supposed to be watching out for them. It is not the fault of these hard working people and it is easy to see how concerns which are reported are left on the system and not linked because no one is actually regularly seeing any children vulnerable or not.

2012 I have been to the clinic once and never heard from anyone since. It was generally accepted as a third time mum I didn't really need to go, I was actually told this and now there are no milestone check ups as such in our area. We may book a 1 year check if we have any concerns. I really do not need to go to baby clinic and if I did I would but what about parents who are not coping and children and babies showing possible signs of abuse. Clinic and home visits were useful to maintain contact but these are non existent after your second or third baby.

No one wants people intruding on their home life, I hated all the visits shortly after having a baby but accepted it as important for my child. Now there is little or no involvement at all. Instead of spending so much money on this latest scheme surely it is better to put the money into preventative or early detection plans designed to flag up signs of neglect and abuse? This may be a deterrent for certain potential culprits and save children at risk. Children who are at risk could potentially be noticed sooner.

Even at school it is not compulsory to have your child weighed and for them to partake in the regular health checks. You can sign a form to confirm you do not want your child checked. If a child is being physically abused of course the parent is not going to allow them to be checked.

This is simply a pattern I as a parent have noticed over the years and it is all down to money and lack of staffing. There are definitely situations where mistakes can be made and as posters have mentioned abuse is suspected when in fact there are medical issues. So surely keeping track early on would prevent this also?

I personally have first hand experience of being on the other side and falling prey to ss assumptions. Although in my situation it was rectified fairly quickly and we received a heartfelt apology,it tends to linger all your life and I can completely understand apprehension regarding the latest plans.

Creating a support network from cradle through school is the answer. And better training to ensure parents who have no need to worry and feel able to voice concerns is important. There does however need to be a certain amount of compulsory check ups and developmental appointments in order to maintain contact with children, getting parents to be on board with this could of course be the challenge. You just want to get on with your life. But I for one think so many awful situations we have read about in the last few years could have been prevented through better communication and regular professional involvement.

mam29 Fri 28-Dec-12 00:40:50

I had my 1st born in 2006 and notice differences.

2nd 2009
3rd 2011

1st born has possibly 12days midwife daily.
hv 2possibly 3home visits then regular weighin at clinic
had more midwives appointments ith 1st

2nd /3r time round gets less and less.

I do still have same hv and ring her up and have good relationship with her.

had incident with nursery last year where they assumed things and came up with rang conclusion and felt awful immediatly rang hv who assured me ok and nursery did apologise but on back of my mind wonder if its on file and will go onto school.

My eldest missed the checks reception she was sick that day shes year 2 and never even met local school nurse.

shes been a&e once due to school related injury.
had no follow up from school nurse.

The 9month checks still exist but 2year checks scrapped,

now in our area they using healthcare assistants to make home visits to new mums and closing health centres so people have to travel miles to see a hv.

i remember my sister was accident prone genuine accidents in 90s and social came round to investigate and how awful my mum felt.

Mosman Fri 28-Dec-12 06:58:27

If I had been born now in 2012 I wouldn't be alive today.
A heart murmur was picked up at my 12 month check with the GP and I was found to have a hole in my heart which would have killed me before my 2nd birthday. I looked fine, no other symptoms.
My son aged 2.5 hasn't had a stethoscope on his chest ever.
I find that worrying, parents abusing their children will just not take them to a hospital any more once this becomes common knowledge.

I had to take Wilf to three different casualties in six months once. On holiday with family he swallowed a ball bearing............ then he fell off a dinosaur on a day out in Norfolk and then swallowed a hearing aid battery a few weeks after that. The following summer he fell off a storage box in our garden and landed on concrete. If that all happened now (and he was the same ages as he was then) I would be worrying!

PiccadillyCervix Fri 28-Dec-12 09:57:37

Of course this is a good thing, it is ridiculous it hasn't been in play all along

larrygrylls Fri 28-Dec-12 10:14:24

I think it is a terrible idea. Abusers will avoid A&E all together and even normal parents will overthink whether A&E is necessary if they happen to have a run of accidents.

Frankly, I also doubt whether any NHS IT solution will ever be effective. My only experience was when our (then) 5 week old spent 4 days in hospital including 2 days in PICU on CPAP. 5 WEEKS later I got a call from the Health Visitor team who thought our child was still in hospital and asked what they could do to help. Erm, nothing as he was by then entirely healthy and, unless they had all the equipment and expertise of a teaching hospital, I am not sure what they could have done anyway. Complete waste of time.

If this were to be done at all, it should be done quietly so abusers are not deterred from taking their children to A&E. I would be curious to know how paediatricians feel about this. I would have thought they would prefer to make a judgment call themselves rather than have a computer system making impersonal referrals without sight of the child or parents.

SorrelForbes Fri 28-Dec-12 10:25:14

Attendances at A&E are already recorded on the hospital's A&E system. This data then feeds through to the Hospital's main patient administration system (PAS). The PAS also shows all hospital contacts (outpatient appointments, admissions etc.). The data is already there for HCPs to see. What needs to be added (or pulled through from LA systems and the Child Health information system) is data on contact with other agencies. This would give a fuller picture of the historical contacts and current status of involvement (if any).

Many Child Health information systems (software used to record HV checks, schedule vacs etc) already collates this data.

What isn't in place is the ability to see the same info from other hospitals/LA. Some areas are already working on CHI systems that cover more than one primary care trust. The CHI in Devon is one example of this.

FivesGoldNorks Fri 28-Dec-12 10:27:44

The local pct will hold data on a and e attendances at all trusts

ZebraInHiding Fri 28-Dec-12 10:58:55

Nice post choco.

I would have agreed with it had it not been for what happened when my ds was born at 28 weeks.

I was vilified by the hospital he was in. One consultant took it upon herself to admonish me for smoking while pregnant, thus making him ill, in front of a room full of nurses, parents and a SW (there on a visit to another parent who had sadly lost one of her twins). I don't smoke. Haven't done for 13 years. No interest in doing so again.

I was then told that ds could come home- was over the moon. Had to have a SW round to check we had room for oxygen tanks etc (we did). She mentioned my smoking while pregnant, the fact I'd apparently caused dd to have delayed speech and a burst eardrum due to using a dummy (never did- hate the bloody things, and have video of dd at that age (18 months) chatting quite happily and meeting milestones). This had come from notes made by a MW. I've since checked and she did not get this info from my GP, GP was confused as there was never any suggestion of wrong doing on our part, dd had an ear infection on and off for months which caused her ear drum to rupture.

Then came a call from the Lead Sister at SCBU- I couldn't take ds home as I'd only spent the equivalent if a week with him in the 4 months he'd been in SCBU. Utter bollocks. There was a lack of nursing staff who simply had too much to do so forgot to tick the box on my attendance on his notes. The same lack of staff meant ds' head had grown flat on one side and he constantly looked to his left (which we had to sort out at home with exercises as if we didn't have enough to do with oxygen tanks and meds etc).

Luckily, I had my bus tickets, the whole lot, as I'd found out I could claim some of the amount back (£8 per day) as we were on a very low income then (dp had to quit work as I was at the hospital day in day out so he looked after dd).

Until these kinds of mistakes (which I strongly believe contributed to my nervous breakdown) are wiped out, this sort of process is open to errors. I'd also be worried that, should a parent make a complaint against the kind of arsehole I dealt with, then the old vindictiveness would be used and you'd end up with ss knocking on your door. They drove us mad for a year due to the mistakes made above until I threatened to sue for harassment. The problem with SS is that they only have to have a suggestion of something wrong and they will pounce all over a family.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Fri 28-Dec-12 12:03:43

Agree with all the posts saying that more data is not going to help... It's making connections that would save children's lives, & that takes well trained & specialized humans, not another computer system.

In any of the cases where mums have had a horrible time with ss the common thread is untrained people making their own opinions into 'facts', which get written down & as they are written turn into absolute facts by the next reader. Often ignoring the medical professional who really is qualified & knows 'the facts'.

How a database helps this I am not sure. Who exactly will be on charge of linking data (some of which will probably be untrue, entered wrongly etc), and who exactly is qualified to make a judgement? Hummm.

Our whole attitude to child protection stinks, & for some reason everyone feels its ok to have some innocent families go through hell because of it... As if a few 'casulties' of the system somehow prove the system is catching the cases where children are in danger... Very dangerous & faulty logic.

picketywick Fri 28-Dec-12 12:26:37

It may be largely a publicity stunt. Theres a lot og govt ones about

Couldn't agree more Double, especially when you then hear of appalling cases where the SS had lots of opportunities to step in and prevent abuse or even the death of a child.

Considering one of the major cock ups which caused my experience was due to over worked staff and understaffed wards, having yet another "box to tick" makes no sense at all. These health care professionals (and before anyone flames me, my dp is an ex-nurse and Dsil is a current nurse working at the same hospital where I had this poor experience) need to be able to do what's first and foremost of importance, which is caring for their patients, rather than adding in admin work to their job descriptions.

MrsJREwing Fri 28-Dec-12 12:27:05

Double, have you got a decent PA and have you got your housing sorted?

It mystifies me too, how anyone can justify the "system" abusing me and my children with as has been said crap opinions written by professionals with no medical training or knowledge of our health condition. Being bullied for the way our disability and their ignorance.

There is a culture of how dare someone wrongly accused complain like you have no rights to be upset at being treated like shit. Like they have no empathy for you and your children being abused by professionals, empathy apparently is limited to children abused by their family.

picketywick Fri 28-Dec-12 12:28:05

We are all on many data bases already. We will never be told how many. Orthe truth about who has access to our info.

FivesGoldNorks Fri 28-Dec-12 12:41:51

yes you are told and you are told why. AFAIK only criminality or CP issues can overrule that.

MrsJREwing so true. And the sad thing is, as so few people are willing to say "hey, this is not on, I will write and complain", there is a culture surrounding the few of us who do. I was told I was a "trouble maker" by a SW for asking my GP to remove the HV who caused the smoking/ear drum mistake- my GP firmly supported my decision, the SW saw it as a way of having a pop at me.

I made a massive, truly massive email complaint in August of last year as a result of feeling like ds had been left to us to do everything for, that the consultant had more interest in extracting gossip about us than actually taking an interest in his health (we are unmarried, which she chose to believe meant dp and I didn't live together, despite her being told repeatedly for 3 years she was wrong. She was sending hospital appointments to our old address thinking dp lived there). She constantly asked about "my mental health" when I challenged her lack of interest.

By the time ds had a massive asthma attack and went blue, resulting in ambulances etc, not to mention upset, purely as the medication we'd been given was inadequate, I'd had enough. GP again backed me and ordered a referral to another hospital team and told me I must complain.

It took until February this year to get a half hearted "fingers in ears" response that "lessons had been learned" and admin is so difficult to organise due to a lack of staff . But basically I was told it was all our fault and to sod off.

If they cannot handle the simplest of admin now, how on earth do these people expect a data base to achieve anything? These are tired, on occasions stroppy at the wrong person people who are overworked and under paid. There is a genuine cloud of malaise hanging over the NHS. A consultant who had ordered tests on me due to being concerned about fainting black outs I'd had was not surprised that these hadn't happened despite him asking 4 times for them- his answer was "well, that's what you get in the NHS, it wouldn't happen with private hospital staff".

That is what the Government needs to sort out, not this "jumping rather late on the Baby P band wagon to win votes" idea they have nicked from Labour.

woozlebear Fri 28-Dec-12 14:54:43

I was abused as a child, and this certainly wouldn't have helped me. My mum repeatedly wrote me sick notes to get me out of PE at primary school if the bruises on my legs were too bad that day. School never once questioned this - even though I was clearly not ill. I once rang the police. They came to the house. My mum charmed them, they didn't even talk to me without my parents in the room. They went away. Nothing was even written down. My mum who barely ever took me to the dentist, once took me - after a gap of several years -after she chipped my front tooth after hitting me in the face with a mug. Was the dentist remotely suspicious about this? No. I was abused for years but never had an A&E sort of injury. I suspect what failed me is the very common assumption that nice middle class parents don't abuse their nice little middle class children who go to nice private schools.

MrsJREwing Fri 28-Dec-12 15:03:26

So sorry you were put through that. I walked away from rubbish said about me by ex and cafcass years ago, same crap not understanding our condition. I should have complained then, it was the first dealings I had with "the system or ss" and I had been a parent for a decade then. I suppose I am a " trouble maker" now to people as I am complaining and using their laws and rules against them, pointing out their errors and law breaks, reporting them to their authority over them. More people should do this. I am however in a position that my children are old enough to ask for files, employ a solicitor etc if necessary, they have had enough too of these people fucking up theur lives, so they can bring it on as far as I am concerned, I and my kids are informed and I won't let someone away wirh this again. These people need to be stopped from abusing innocent adults and kids.

Huppopapa Fri 28-Dec-12 15:06:00

The Government (who I loathe with a passion btw) has not announced a new process. It is not requiring the gathering of any data that are not already collected. It is not proposing a new database. Absolutely nothing is new except that data will be stored in such a way that they are accessible to practitioners faced with children with difficult-to-explain injuries.

It was suggested above that doctors need more training to spot non-accidental injuries. If only that we're possible. A spiral fracture of the femur of an immobile child is probably abuse, but a clean tibia break on a 3yo boy? How do any of the contributors to this thread think a doctor can tell when an accident is genuine? Asking the parents can be useful but abusers are often cunning and agree a story before presenting. How they are dressed, how they speak, how angry or panicked they are are almost useless as diagnostic tools, in case any of you were thinking about those options but didn't want to say. Asking the child can be useful but there is a narrow window - which is different for every child - between a child learning to speak and being capable of being scared into concealing truth, if that is what their carers want. Sad, but true.

What else is there, then?

Why does a doctor take a medical history whenever you as an adult seeks a consultation? Because diagnosis requires it, and without diagnosis there can be no treatment. Adults complain if a doctor doesn't ask them enough questions because we all know how important it is.

It follows that if either of my DDs goes to A & E I want the hospital to have as much information as possible. Why wouldn't you want that too? The raw data which will be available if this database-sharing initiative works (big if!) will be part of the picture used to treat our children. The fact that a child has been to hospital many times proves nothing, but it can inform clinical observations just as knowing in an adult whether or not they smoke.

Those children with conditions requiring frequent medical attention will be better protected when every medic who encounters the child can see that by consulting the computer. Frankly I am HUUUGELY suspicious of anyone who claims their child has, say, brittle bones and would be greatly assisted to know immediately that they are telling the truth.

I don't understand the comments about 'box-ticking'. All this information is gathered anyway and is shared with varying success as observed above. What is proposed is not a process, or a step in treatment to be completed before the practitioner moves on: it is a means by which a child's medical history can be available to a practitioner when that child is in her or his care. To talk of 'box-ticking' is to misunderstand how emergency medicine works.

As for those who think that abusers will not take their children to hospital because they will get in trouble, consider that children keep turning up at hospital even when abuse is obvious. Even the most inadequate and (literally) hateful parents do not want to be prosecuted so - as unlikely as it may seem - come to hospital for the child to be fixed before s/he gets worse. Sadly, the parents want to save their own skins more than they care about their children so I can't see that process stopping.

Finally, a word to those who say they would be more reluctant to take their children to A & E because of this. Please have a long, long moment to think about that. You are actually saying that you would deny urgent medical treatment to your child because you are scared of what others might think about you. That is a stunning and disturbing admission which, frankly, I don't believe. If you think your child needs to go to A&E you take them immediately and hang what anyone might say. They are your joy, your own, your responsibility: they rely on you to be brave. If you pause, that is a cause for concern.

Best wishes, Huppopapa (who went to A&E as a child with an axe-wound!)

bruffin Fri 28-Dec-12 15:14:42

My dd hurt her hand pre victoria columbie and my HV knew about it within days, so not anythibg new. My dcs were born 95 and 97 and my ds had far more check ups than dd born 2 years later.

MrsDeVere Fri 28-Dec-12 15:24:09

I don't think this will stop people going to A&E.
Abused children do get taken to A&E even though the parents will be aware they will be questioned. The ones that don't get take now, won't get taken if there is a new database.
Lots of the parents live such chaotic lives they wouldn't have the first clue about tracking systems anyway.

Loving parents are not going to avoid A&E if their child is hurt. They will be anxious but lets face it most of us get a bit anxious already.

IF this works it will be a good thing. But it will not work in isolation. Unfortunately the only way to keep an eye on children involves collecting sensitive information.

There is no other way. Collating and sharing information is a vital part of protecting children. Staff need to be better trained.
What info to record
How to record it e.g. factual and no assumptions
Data protection - I am frequently pissed off by people gabbing about things they should keep to themselves.
Not assuming that someone else has picked up on something. A call, an email to check can save a child.

Mosman Fri 28-Dec-12 15:29:02

I'm amazed abusers take their children to a and e, I'm even more amazed they are allowed to take them home and do it again.

Spero Fri 28-Dec-12 15:38:19

Just read a ridiculous article by Simon Heffer in the Mail where he says that he would not take a child to A and E after his wife was questioned when she took in their toddler son who had a fractured skull. Even his GP - gasp! - was questioned about his view of the family. Their son went home and made a full recovery.

I have no problem whatsoever with hard questions being asked when a child presents with serious injury. What is the alternative? Sending child home to be killed later on?

If this is the attitude of presumably intelligent and well educated people, then we really are doomed. We need a shift in attitude; protecting children is the business of us all. Can't see how a database is going to be a magic wand, as so many have said, it is how information is analysed and shared that makes the difference.

Spero Fri 28-Dec-12 15:40:49

And re abusers not going to a and e, a surprisingly large number of children are taken to hospital either dead or dying, by the same people who attacked them. I agree completely with Mrs Devere - most child abusers are not very good at forward planning, most child abuse comes out of chaos and misery, not calculated evil.

MrsDeVere Fri 28-Dec-12 15:41:32

They take them because abuse is not simple.
They strike out, they hit they burn, they leave a sick child without treatment.
Then they panic and think they better take the kid to hospital.
Then they lie about what happened. They are manipulative.
There is no proof its an non accidental injury so they take them home.

Which is why a good data collection system would help. AND robust training for staff. Doctors can be in their early twenties with a couple of weeks experience of A&E medicine and NO paedatric experience. They are faced with an accomplished liar with a lot to lose.

No wonder kids slip through the net.

Sirzy Fri 28-Dec-12 15:43:03

Mosman - unfortunately its not always going to be possible to identify that their is a problem though. This is where this system could help as if a child is on the at risk register it would be automatically highlighted and therefore sound the alarm bells. The important part though is how that is dealt with.

When I take DS to A and E i am asked "do you have a social worker" - the onus is on the parent to tell the truth rather than having a set way to immediately check this out.

If the system is going to show they have a SW I hope that some sort of coding will be included to give an idea of why - it could simply be a child with disabilities so the SW is providing extra support or it could be an at risk child.

FivesGoldNorks Fri 28-Dec-12 15:44:50

so the idiot would rather neglect his child than be even superficially investigated for abuse?
Fucker

insancerre Fri 28-Dec-12 15:54:11

Simon Heffer is an idiot. Not seeking medical help for your child is a form of child abuse.

FivesGoldNorks Fri 28-Dec-12 15:55:37

it's neglect, surely

insancerre Fri 28-Dec-12 15:57:35

Neglect is a form of child abuse

FivesGoldNorks Fri 28-Dec-12 16:01:26

yes, but they tend to be separated out. Anyway, we are splitting hairs grin

Mosman Fri 28-Dec-12 16:07:02

You don't think perhaps he's just trying to sell newspapers and doesnt mean a word of it ?

FivesGoldNorks Fri 28-Dec-12 16:08:37

true. With some very irresponsible scaremongering thrown in.

FivesGoldNorks Fri 28-Dec-12 16:09:38

it doesn't really matter about his motives or whether he means it. He's lending weight to the "child snatching social worker" myths that fly around.

MsArsebiscuit Fri 28-Dec-12 16:43:49

With reference to the poster who said that a doctor might be able to tell that a spiral fracture of a femur is NAI but find it harder to classify a ' clean fracture of the tibia ' as such, the doctor involved takes note of the history of the trauma recounted by the parent/caregiver, notes any inconsistencies or details that don't ring true, and considers them in conjunction with any imaging. They can also consult a radiologist for advice.

I work in a DGH, am involved in NAI cases and have seen more of these over the past few years than you would think possible - not all of these children make the news. It must be utterly nightmarish to be falsely accused, I absolutely do not diminish that but equally I want to ensure that any child I deal with is safe.

larrygrylls Fri 28-Dec-12 16:51:16

It is typical of the culture today that we are so reluctant to "judge" that we cannot target families obviously struggling. So, instead, we get a computer database which will be purely factual, based on number of attendances, injuries etc. Amazing seeing the thread above how many well educated parents are asked "hard" questions (i.e virtually accused of child abuse) and are expected to suck it up and think it is marvelous as it will help to catch real abusers.

I do not for a minute believe there is less child abuse in 2012 than in the 70s, when I was a child. All the technologly does is create a blunt instrument, which is then interpreted by people who prefer to target the middle classes, as they will actually take the trouble to respond to enquiries and turn up to appointments. It is the same as customs patting down our 18 month old child for explosives when, to the best of my knowledge, there has NEVER been a white couple with children hijacking an aircraft. Of course there are well educated middle class abusers but it is a statistical game and targeting will reduce abuse far more than databases.

Huppopapa Fri 28-Dec-12 16:58:58

Your customs comment is not really an apt parallel, Larry.

Struggling families are targetted, though the quality of the support they get can be lamentable. This proposal is designed to do precisely what you say is not done i.e. ensure that where appropriate, protective measures are taken as early as possible.

And re 'sucking it up', exactly what is wrong with me being asked hard questions when I attend A&E when my child has suffered a substantial injury? Did you not read the post from the woman who said she was abused as a child but because she came from a nice family, no-one did anything?

larrygrylls Fri 28-Dec-12 17:02:34

What is wrong with it?

I think that normal people pay taxes for the NHS and expect help when their child is injured. You are scared and miserable at that point. Most people want sympathy and treatment, not the Spanish inquisition.

Your attitude demonstrates the idea that it is fine to treat anyone with a sick or injured child as a criminal suspect. Wrong on so many levels.

MrsSham Fri 28-Dec-12 17:02:52

How are these struggling families likely to be identified if questions are not asked larry? Families who need help are often unidentified untill they come into contact with Heath care, education, housing, etc. indiscriminate approaches to safeguarding is necessary other wise people do slip through the net. What makes me less or more worthy of being asked questions about my children's welfare than anyone else from any class, culture or walk of life. I don't really understand your post. Are you saying middle class and or innocent parents should not be questioned in order to identify abuse or neglect? If so how do you make the assessment of whats a safe parent without asking questions.

insancerre Fri 28-Dec-12 17:06:45

larry I would rather that every parent was questioned and held acountable if it meant that victims would be identified sooner and did not die as a result of abuse.
i think every professional involved in looking after children should never err on the side of caution if it can save lives.
It takes a village to raise a child after all.

Spero Fri 28-Dec-12 17:53:22

Of course Simon Heffer is just writing crap to sell the Mail. I am under no illusions about what kind of 'newspaper' that is. But the worry is that other people might read it and think, well, if a clever big journalist thinks that, maybe I should also.

If you take a small child to hospital with a fractured skull and that child is too small to tell you what happened, what are you suggesting the hospital do? Just smile and say dearie me?

Of course it is stressful and horrible if your child is injured. Of course the hospital staff should not just assume you abused your child but they have to try to find out what happened. Small children don't just fracture their skulls as a matter of course.

MrsJREwing Fri 28-Dec-12 18:14:09

ok, you are not questioned for five minutes, bye.

You live months of uncertainty, there is an initial assessment, a meeting you may or may not be invited to, GP spoken to etc, or if you are very unlucky care proceedings in court which can go on over a year and include you and your children attending psychiatric evaluations.

But het fuck it lets abuse innocent families with our fingers in our ears and pretend it is five minutes out of their life!

You have no idea.

MrsSham Fri 28-Dec-12 18:20:40

You are talking about a specific experience, not the experience of every person who has ever presented at a&e. mistakes happen yes at either end of the spectrum. no one can comment on this thread wether involvement with your family was justified or not. But does that mean that the system should not attempt to tackle these mistakes and seek ways to improve. I'm not even sure I think what is proposed is the answer I think the answer is related more to professional education, which would prevent more mistakes. But I do think questions should be asked when it comes to children's welfare regardless of who you are.

MrsJREwing Fri 28-Dec-12 18:23:12

The latter part of September to early December I was in a state of terror, visited twice by ss, had a meeting with school and ss, phone calls, back and forth to GP, humiliated in front of GP receptonist, bullied and spoken to like garbage by school receptionists knowing who will attend meetings, publically humiliated as some of the staff knew me and my kids from juniour school. For fuck all, for people who are ignorant of our conditiin, kept shite records, lost medical info and are disablist.

Suck it up eh!

MrsSham Fri 28-Dec-12 18:25:39

No one is saying suck it up.

MrsJREwing Fri 28-Dec-12 18:26:50

I am very worried about this as the above wasn't A&E, what happened at A&E recently was two Dr's the initial one asked the consultant to help due to rare condition, he said it was a pulled muscle, it wasn't as the expert in the condition said it was dislocated ribs. I have little faith in the "system or professionals" and I fear innocent people and children being needlessly hurt.

Huppopapa Fri 28-Dec-12 18:30:26

"for people who are ignorant of our conditiin, kept shite records, lost medical records"

I'm not trying to irritate you, but if the problem you suffered was because no-one knew why you were seeking medical assistance for your child, isn't a joined-up records system which explained the condition to anyone you came into contact with exactly what you needed?

MrsSham Fri 28-Dec-12 18:34:24

Then do you not think better professional sharing of information and consultation regarding judgments being made may possibly seen your situation handled differently?

MrsJREwing Fri 28-Dec-12 18:41:41

I think the problem for us has been the fact it is a complicated rare condition. I am very upset, not upset at you.

I am not sure about joined up records helping at all.

The GP had records, it was school that messed up record keeping.

The A&E dept was the same hospital that diagnosed the latest stuff, so they had it on their records there, the dickhead consultant was incompetant at treating my child and was too arrogant to call for backup as he was out of his depth. I will be getting a report with the error he made noted in it and be complaining about him in due course to his employers.

What worries me is this condition is underdiagnosed and with dislocations, bruising, anxiety, gi like incontenance etc symptoms it can look like abuse by a parent and we had a diagnosis.

I went through hell before as a rhumatologist was ignorant of the fatigue part of the condition which was available to him at the time, made me look a liar.

Fed up in general of being bullied for this in me and my kids. I worry for others.

Varya Fri 28-Dec-12 19:33:36

My twin son blacked both his eyes all by himself bouncing from one door jamb to the other. Would have been mortified if his name was on this database and the parents under suspicion............

SofiaAmes Fri 28-Dec-12 20:19:40

MrsJREwing - please PM me through mumsnet. I'd like to give you information about the treatment of mitochondrial functional diseases. It sounds like your condition may be related and there are some very effective solutions with no side effects that may be worth trying. My ds has had a miraculous (or would be if I believed in God) recovery now that he's been diagnosed and treated.
I completely empathize with your terrible experience with medical and educational professionals and staff.

Mrs Ewing

I find carrying a letter with dx on it very handy for A&E or if out of area . Especially as ds3 has extra complications and rare form and were pretty frequent flyers to A&E

But yes it's scary amount times I have had to explain a gentic condition ti people even pulling it up in my phone to show them

Sofia

Without being rude you can not fix DNA . The condition we have Is with our DNA gentic make up ( I have same condition on Ewing with my ds3 having even rarer form

It is throughout our whole bodies involving internal and external joints /0rgans bone and skin

I can see the advantage of a joined up database In principle it is good . But I would wonder if people they are targeting will mainly just stop going yk A&E as they aware be questioned

Where others will take dx automatically for genuine injuries and could face the 3rd degree

Sirzy Fri 28-Dec-12 21:57:13

Hopefully a more joined up system will mean that information about on going conditions, especially rare ones, is easier to access which COULD (if done right) reduce the false accusations when they are based on existing conditions.

The system at the moment doesn't allow that to happen within one hospital let alone nationally!

I imagine this will be collected as part of the maternity and children data set

MrsJREwing Fri 28-Dec-12 22:36:46

Hi Human, did you get further info regarding your ds, it was not available to you last time we met. I can't see you on fb anymore. Good advice about photocopying the dx thanks.

Mosman Fri 28-Dec-12 22:58:35

maternityandchildrendataset, that'll explain why it now takes two hours to get discharged these days then.
At the end of the day like all data bases garbage in equals garbage out and it'll be very dangerous to over rely on this source, it's a tool but it's only one tool.

pigletmania Fri 28-Dec-12 23:44:41

I'm in two minds, there are children who have conditions tat need A&E attention frequently such as brittle bones, or chidrem who are a bit too daredevil. It could prevent another child death from abuse

MrsSham Fri 28-Dec-12 23:57:45

It should not mean that children who have conditions or who are accident prone are under anymore suspicion than previously, what it means is that information is readily available where there are concerns that would have previously existed with or with out the database. It should just mean that mistakes either side of the spectrum are more avoidable because information that should be shared can be shared. Anyone saying they would now not take their children to a&e should be questioning their morals really. Your children need treatment why the hell would you not take them to receive treatment. I don't believe it for one bit that loving catering patents would be so suspicious they would avoid treatment, that's scaremongering and bull shit. Even a a users seek treatment a lot of the time and many children sustain injury through neglect rather than cold blooded abuse.

SofiaAmes Sat 29-Dec-12 04:50:47

human, I'm sorry for your child's illness. I do not actually know what the illness is that MrsJREwing (and your child) have, so can't comment on the possibility of "fixing" it. I do know lots about the genetic illness that my ds has and it is treatable. In his case the mitochondrial dna mutation affects a metabolic pathway and he takes high doses of the nutrient missing/not properly utilized (they don't quite know which) in this pathway. In my ds' case I refer to him as "cured" in quotations because all his adverse symptoms have been eliminated, but he does still have to take the nutrient for the rest of his life (a small price to pay for his good health). I understand that his dna have not been fixed (I don't believe I ever said they were), but his disease has been treated. It is my understanding that there are many more children with mitochondrial disease who could be successfully treated in the same way, but who aren't because their symptoms are not getting recognized as indicators of mitochondrial issues. Much of this medicine and research is quite new and still hasn't filtered down past the scientists and researchers to the practitioners. I was just lucky enough, by complete coincidence to have a father who happened to work in the field of my ds' disease. It is certainly much better to have a letter that puts a name to my ds' disease than a list of all his episodes of illness and his visits to A&E....the former is much more useful to carry around with you (as you have pointed out).

SofiaAmes Sat 29-Dec-12 05:02:30

Sirzy, I think the problem is that with some of these genetic illnesses, it can take many years to get diagnosed and in the meantime no one knows that they are all symptoms of one disease. My ds wasn't given an official written diagnosis until he was 11 1/2. In the meantime he spent a lot of time in bed, in the doctor's office and in A&E for a bunch of what could have (and did) seemed to be completely unrelated illnesses and issues. He had high fevers, blindness, week long bouts of severe vomiting, chest infections, ear infections, multiple occasions where he couldn't put any weight on his left leg (inflamed hip joint), head migraines, stomach migraines, chronic fatigue (2 weeks where he slept 21 hours a day), fainting, clumsiness....in 11.5 years, no one ever connected any of these symptoms (despite my carrying around detailed lists of all the episodes) and many people accused me of provoking them, making them up, exaggerating them, etc. Unfortunately, I'm not confident that having a joined up system would make it any better, unless the people doing the analysis are highly trained medical professionals and even then.....

marriedandwreathedinholly Sat 29-Dec-12 08:35:43

What we need are a higher standard of nursing care, where nurses observe and listen and report concerns and a much much higher quality health visiting service. If NHS staff were taught to listen, to observe and to exercise logic there would be better care for everybody not just those at risk. What is being proposed sounds like a sledgehammer to crack a nut but it will no doubt create some extra admin jobs to deal with yet more bureaucracy rather than ensuring existing medical and professional staff are fit for purpose.

I'm a children's nurse and qualified HV, not working as HV as too heartbreaking. When training as HV It was always obvious that more joined up working between health, education and SW needed to be in place to help prevent abuse and deaths. This is what the reports and enquiries always reccommend but never seems to happen. I have a very lively and dare devil ds (aged 3). We have been at A&E a fair few times in his short life and have never been treated with suspicion, I have always found the hospital staff helpful and friendly. I don't mind answering the same questions over and over as appreciate they are doing their job and I know that what I am saying is the truth. During my training we had to learn about many different reasons why children would turn up at A&E and genetic disorders played a big part of that training. Also as nurses on the wards you saw many children in the wards with rare genetic disorders so you were aware of these conditions when working in A&E. I'm so sorry for the families who have had a nightmare with agencies being mis-trustful and unbelieving and putting innocent families through such an ordeal.
I do think though that we have to carry on being like this as we can't risk missing abused children. I honestly believe if it saves one abused child then all the questions and follow-up visits etc are worth it. We atill have a long, long way to go as currently agengies still work very individually and don't always share information.

insanityscratching Sat 29-Dec-12 08:55:34

We had an experience where one (maybe overzealous) doctor in A&E told dh that he would be alerting the authorities as ds's injury was suspicious but whether he did or not we had no contact from anyone.
Ds was twelve (hadn't been to A&E since he was 3 when he tumbled and banged his head leaving a cut that needed gluing) had been out on his bike on the trail with friends. He came home with a friend pushing his bike with an injured hand that he said he had done trying to save himself from falling off of his bike his friend confirmed this. He has dyspraxia so clumsy is his middle name so we had no reason to question this.
Dh repeated this at A&E as did ds when questioned separately. Xrays showed a broken bone in his thumb not from being wrenched back as he had said and dh repeated but from being crushed into his palm.
Later discovered he and his friend had been wrestling and he was hurt when his friend knelt on his hand crushing his thumb but was worried I'd be mad at him and had cooked up the story with ds.
I spoke to our GP who reassured me that the hospital would most likely contact her and I didn't need to worry. Never heard anything else so whether they did contact GP who said there was no cause for concern or not I don't know.
I don't think having all visits logged would worry the majority of parents because IME even a suspicious injury doesn't necessarily mean an investigation by the authorities I do wonder though whether some parents would avoid getting a child treatment if they were afraid of involvement from child services for instance.

BoffinMum Sat 29-Dec-12 09:31:15

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when I was a very young mum, we had several experiences in A and E where DD would go in with some sort of minor injury or illness that needed attention - stubborn croup in one case (referred by GP), a couple of stitches needed in another, one time she pulled a tea cup over herself and the burn needed dressing properly to make sure it didn't scar. These are routine incidents that often happen to kids as they grow up. Every single time I was hounded by some over zealous twit, usually a fairly junior doctor, guilty of child abuse until proven innocent.

Eventually I took advice from my mum, who is very wise about such things, and she suggested that it might be worth getting DP to phone up the lead consultant in his authoritative male voice. DP did this and said how disturbed we were that there might be some deep meaningful underlying problem, and we had decided that only the best was good enough for our DD, so we were wanting his suggestion for a referral to the top consultant psychiatrist for such things, in his opinion.

Of course the lead consultant did not want to refer, as it was clear that he would look a right plonker if he sent us to someone like this, given that DD had suffered from a small number of minor childhood things and had perfectly normal, supportive parents. He told us not to worry and he would 'deal with it' for us. I presume this meant speaking to the most recent culprit and asking him what the hell he was doing. Anyway, the problem went away, and when she had a headache, high temperature and stiff neck a year later, and I took her in to rule out meningitis, we were treated normally (it transpired it was flu plus a neck injury sustained in a school PE lesson, but all of those together was pretty scary. Anyway, I trangress).

In the light of my own experience, what I worry about is that inexperienced doctors and nurses sometimes have a messianic zeal for safeguarding. They carry out ill informed and fairly amateurish profiling, picking on certain groups of parents and subjecting them to all sorts of unwarranted attention. If this is unproven and put on a database, it is very easy to start building up a picture of abuse where none exists. It will deter people from taking kids to A and E for minor things (it would certainly have deterred me if the lead consultant hadn't taken it upon himself to set his department in order) and lead to a breakdown of trust between professional and parents/child.

When I wrote our departmental child safeguarding policy for students on placements, one of the things I made sure was emphasised was the need to refer upwards and not approach safeguarding with a missionary zeal in order to 'feel good' or 'feel professional'. It's all about the children, at the end of the day, and where real abuse exists (which is rarer than you would think), there needs to be a careful approach involving people who have direct experience of dealing with such things over a long period of time, not people who have read about it in a text book or seen a couple of documentaries on the telly. Blundering about interrogating parents every five minutes or filling databases with unsubstantiated allegations is not going to help. It needs expertise, proper training, and nuanced professionalism. Better to have a policy where all children attending A and E have a full health check each time, for example, or increase the number of school nurses, or invest in Sure Start, or offer annual child health checks via the GP. Databases are a poorly conceived, commercially driven alternative, and will be a complete waste of taxpayers' money (as ContactPoint was).

marriedandwreathedinholly Sat 29-Dec-12 09:55:26

Interesting isn't it Boffinmum - and I wholeheartedly agree with all you say. But I experienced the exact opposite - (as well as all the visits for bulging ear drums out of hours, split heads andbroken bones) I once took dd having pulled her elbow out of place by leaning over and taking her hand to get her to sit up because it was bed time and she was lying on the floor and not co-operating. It was dreadful and I was sure I would be referred in aande but I told the doctor I had done it and it was my fault and he just said - don't worry about it; we know there's no need to be concerned when parents walk in say it's their fault and the child still only let's the doctor touch them sitting on mum's lap and clings on tightly. That little story apart I never experienced an over zealous doctor but I was in my late thirties.

MrsSham Sat 29-Dec-12 10:04:45

So your dh made a call and a year later you think you where remembered for that? I doubt that very much.

the data base will show who is on child protection register and/or who has been on child protection register.

it will not cause you to be put on child protection register.
really dont understand the attitude of people getting sniffy with doctors Doing their job. If you havent done anythign wrong you have nothign to worry about.

i recall someone who got sniffy and annoyed with the doctors who questioned why there dd was in car seat, on the table - and fell off! you know you shouldnt do that so dont get on your high horse about it, when it goes wrong.

lulu2012 Sat 29-Dec-12 10:45:02

Mrs JREwing, so sorry to hear of your struggles, I don't know all your specifics but the fact you mentioned many GI issues immmediately flagged up the GAPS diet to me. It is really worth researching as healing the gut is integral to overall health and has worked well with neurological problems, auto immune probs, digestive problems, allergies etc. Good luck x

Spero Sat 29-Dec-12 11:08:19

Sorry boffin mum, I don't think your husband making a call, however 'deep and authoritative' his voice had anythingto do with what happened a year later.

I am sorry if you were subjected to questioning you didnt like and found unpleasant. But again, what would you have a doctor do? A child comes in 'needing a few stiches', then again having been scalded by tea. This may just be very unfortunate for child or it could indicate something quite seriously wrong at home.

I am glad doctors are 'over zealous' about child protection. much rather thatbthan the other way round. And if your child has a very unusual condition, why not take a letter with you to hospital so emergency doctors can see the original diagnosis? I appreciate this won't be the case if your child has yet to be diagnosed but wha are people then suggesting? That no parents are ever questioned, just in case their child happens to be suffering from a very rare condition and the questions might upset theparents?

LaVolcan Sat 29-Dec-12 11:45:06

In the Victoria Climbie and Baby Peter case, it didn't seem as though doctors were 'overzealous'. As far as I remember, it seemed that no-one wanted to take responsibility despite both children being seen on numerous occasions. As far as I can see, only if someone is prepared to accept that the buck stops with them, will a database be of any use.

Mosman Sat 29-Dec-12 12:14:51

That goes back to the test results somebody said earlier had to be ordered three times, if nobody actually follows up and sees something through to it's conclusion then these tragedies will keep happening.

MrsDeVere Sat 29-Dec-12 12:27:40

That isnt what happened in the VC case LaVolcan
A lot of people had concerns. The systems were shite.

One of the biggest issues was that when I doctor wrote 'fit for discharge' from hospital it was interpreted as 'can go home'

Instead of 'medically fit but at risk'

So VC went home.

But yes, it was an absolutely travesty. There were nearly 30 opportunities for VC to be saved.

But this system is a result of her death. As are all of our safeguarding policies.
Communication still seems to be the biggest barrier to saving children.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 12:55:01

Do you know what would have a big effect on cases like baby p and Victoria climbie? Banning child abuse physical discipline...

This database relies on the people who add things to the records to be a. Knowledgable and b. trustworthy. Which I do not believe they are.

This database gives great potential for unfounded allegations to snowball. It may pick up some children who are being abused/neglected in minor ways by parents who don't really realise that is what they are doing. It will not pick up cases like baby p where the parents are abusing the child and going to some lengths to cover it up. If the child is on a CP plan unrelated to anything the parents may have done to them will it flag this up? If so are doctors/health visitors/midwives/nurses etc actually trustworthy and trained enough in dealing with CP or will it just bias diagnosis/treatment?

I don't think this is the answer, it is simply more monitoring and it will prevent children from accessing treatment.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 12:58:30

My parents are both doctors, I was physically and emotionally abused (possibly other forms of abuse I don't remember) by them, because of their status when I told people, even an allegation of sexual abuse I made as a teen but don't remember making, people said "everyone hates their parents as a teen you'll grow out of it". Conversely my two friends who were Children of single mothers (one is my age so contemporary) were actually removed from their mothers and put into foster care temporarily for much, much less.... There are so many biases in the system already about what gets recorded and when and by who...

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 13:00:44

And who is going to admin it? Based on other govt schemes G4S? It will be a private company, one who will have access to sensitive medical information and who will not be subject to public law.

Firstly just want to say how upsetting and utterly reprehensible cases like Baby P are and how necessary it is for statutory health and social care agencies to work closely together to prevent things like this from happening.

However, I work in an small organisation which works with young people (aged 14 - 17) and their parents. The young people we work with are from some of the most socio-economically deprived areas in the UK and they have all disengaged from mainstream education. The families are often struggling with a raft of different issues - everything from mental health problems, poverty, addiction, domestic abuse etc. There are usually younger children in the families too. Many have involvement, either short term or long term, with social services. Undeniably a lot of the parents we work with do need additional support.

However, many of them are genuinely really trying their best for their kids, often under some incredibly difficult circumstances, and I can't help but feel that a system like this which basically red flags kids whose families have had social services involvement or who are from particular areas etc. is bound to be open to abuse and to be used to bully and intimidate parents who are not in a position to stand up for themselves. I can see a lot of kids possibly being taken into care unnecessarily as a result, creating disruption and emotional chaos. It definitely raises a lot of questions around how far the state should be allowed to intervene (interfere?) in family life.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 13:55:21

It is very hard to match up this; m.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20226345a which I think is absolutely inappropriate for an MP/MPs to say but likely the motivation behind this database.

With this; m.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/18/most-damaged-children-care-failed

Or this;
www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/children-in-care-when-a-childs-home-is-provided-by-the-state-they-should-be-able-to-feel-safe-8226754.html

MrsDeVere Sat 29-Dec-12 13:56:02

It is very true about the 'minor' abuse cases.
I work with children. There are a fair few parents who genuinely do not 'get' that what they are doing is abusive. This is most often down to their own upbringing or a total lack of parenting.

I have seen sneery posts on MN in the past, refusing to believe that people do not know about healthy eating (for example), but they don't because it has NEVER been part of their own lives. Its the same for parenting. If all you have ever known is being hit and shouted at and ignored and you don't read or watch anything much apart from soaps - where do you get your info from? If you have been taught to be suspicious of authority - midwives, HVs and anyone who works for the council, who you going to ask for help?

So parents might go up to A&E with a child they hit too hard or one that fell down th stairs while and get picked up. They should be.

This system will not prevent professionals making judgments based on their value systems. If a couple remind them of their own parents will they really want to disbelieve that story about little Freya helping with the cooking?

I have been on the receiving end of some very nasty attitudes. I have felt the judgmental eye of professionals as a youngish mum but when I had DS2 it was a whole different ball game!

He came to me at 8 weeks with a history of neglect. He also came with his red book which I dutifully took to all of his many appointments. The majority of the HCP did not bother to read the book properly and assumed I was his birth mother.

They talked to me like I was a piece of utter crap. In public and with no regard for my privacy or my (now) Ds's.

I still think we need robust recording systems though. But like any record, they have to be implemented and read to work.

Mrsd - "They talked to me like I was a piece of utter crap. In public and with no regard for my privacy or my (now) Ds's."

This is exactly what a lot of the mums I work with experience all the time - if they are red flagged as having been a heavy drug user in the past a lot of health professionals or other people in positions of authority will simply disregard the fact that they might have been clean for three years now, and many don't take into account the shockingly low levels of adult literacy in some parts of the country and hand over books and long pamphlets on how to feed your child etc. when the mum in question can't actually read any of it, and then tell her off for not knowing which foods the child should be getting.

I don't envy the decision makers who have to formulate these types of policy because they are a very tricky area to implement and get right

MrsDeVere Sat 29-Dec-12 14:51:54

littlemiss I used to work with Deaf parents. Many had very low levels of literacy as English was their second language (Sign being their first).
They was they were treated was shocking. There was a lot of 'concern' that 'they won't be able to hear the baby cry' <clutch pearls in horror> but very little thought about providing information that we all take for granted.

And what about visually impaired parents? Who can read those bloody tiny instructions on the side of formula tins ffs?

Best not get started on how disabled parents are treated. i would be here all day...

Spero Sat 29-Dec-12 14:57:56

One of the saddest things I have read about Victoria Climbe is that when she wet herself in fear when her 'aunt' approached her in hospital, this was explained by some hospital staff as a natural reaction of an African child who was taught to respect her elders.

Some very well meaning attempt to be culturally sensitive lead to a complete misreading of the situation. And that for me underscores the huge problem with a data base which relies on information to be entered sensitively and sensibly. Depending on your own view of the parents in questions - do you dislike them because you assume they are abusers or do you not want to judge them in case you are labled racist or similar. All of this will have an impact.

The obvious answer is more training, more help for front line staff to deal with these situations efficiently and humanely - not treating someone like shit because an assumption is made at an early stage. I saw this happen with one client - the doctors believed he had sexually abused his 3 year old daugther on the basis of bruising which were later found to have spontaneously arisen due to a virus. Their recordings of interviews with him, the examinations to which this little girl were subjected were horrible - invasive, insensitive and ultimately proved to be on a false basis.

But the answer to this is not, don't question parents, don't record info - just, as everyone is saying - make sure you ask the right questions in the right way, keep an open mind and don't assume anything.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 16:18:15

A much better answer is to ban corporal punishment. It can be shown to drastically reduce the levels of child deaths at the hands of the parents without criminalising parents. Victoria climbie was killed by a woman who believed in corporal punishment and escalated the levels of violence she was subjected to in a society that sanctions the use of corporal punishment by caregivers as a valid and effectively method of discipline against the research, evidence and opinions of the UN and other organisations.

offred - I dont believe in proper corporal punishment in the slightest (tho I do have sympathy for parents who deliver literally a tap on the bum to a toddler who is physically lashing out or putting themselves in danger) but while I verery much agree that this type of discipline usually causes mych more harm than good and ought not to be practiced, I do think there is a massive issue over enforcing a law like this. How can anyone police what goes on (or does not go on) behind closed doors? Will neighbours start informing on each other whether out of genuine concern or vindictive malice because they hear or see things (possibly out of context) and assume a child is being slapped around? Will kids realise the level of power this gives them and make false accusations against foster parents (for example) because they resent being in a foster home or resent a step parent. When it's an adult's word against a child's how do we know who to believe - will cameras need to be installed in homes, people to observe sent round? The whole thing is such a minefield - it is so important to safeguard vulnerable people, whether this is young people, the elderly or infirm or vulnerable adults. But I,m inclined to think a shifting of attitudes through more accessible, positive and proactive education for parents, carers and frontline staff and more support for mothers/fathers who dont have English as a first language, who have disabilities or health problems to contend with or who dont have a strong network.of family or friends to give them some relief is much more likely to be effective than legislation on its own.

Sirzy Sat 29-Dec-12 16:47:58

I dont think those who harm their children in such a way to put them in such risk care to much about the law about it! I think it's quiet naive to believe that would stop children being abused.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 16:58:24

Look at Sweden. It isn't about policing it or about stopping people giving a tap or criminalising them when they do. It is about making it socially unacceptable for adults to hit children and providing clear laws.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 16:59:39

As long as it is legal it is sanctioned by the state and hard to draw the line between punishment and abuse.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 17:02:08

It isn't naive it is based on evidence btw!!!

It is naive to believe that anything anyone does will completely stop adults abusing/killing children. This is not an achievable goal.

What laws outlawing corporal punishment do is prevent deaths from escalation of violence and by making it socially unacceptable for adults to hit children. That is the studied effect of a ban on corporal punishment and how it reduced child deaths in Sweden.

Sirzy Sat 29-Dec-12 17:10:32

Is that due to the ban or is that due to the fact that their social services in that time have seemingly become much more supportive of families giving them support needed?

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 17:11:06

Fact is it is social acceptable, to many actively desirable, to hit children in this country as it was in Sweden before the ban.

Banning it did not increase or reduce antisocial behaviour in sweden indicating that although it may not increase antisocial behaviour across a general population, it is an ineffective method of discipline, research from Germany indicated that corporal punishment does increase the likelihood of antisocial behaviour in children with a certain gene I think but otherwise is ineffective. A ban changed social attitudes but did not result in criminalising of parents (or rampant wild children who held parents to ransom) as opponents worried it might. What it did do was drastically reduce child deaths at the hands of the parents.

These are the reasons the UN called on the UK to ban it outright in the children act, the uk govt refused without adequate explanation and various organisations are concerned about the lack of a ban on corporal punishment in the UK based on evidence from other countries who have banned it.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 17:13:03

It is attributed to changes in social attitudes (I imagine also applying to social services) brought on by the ban.

They talk mostly about Sweden because they implemented a ban a long time ago and so have studied it awhile.

I'm on the fence about joined-up databases like this tbh. On one hand it would make things easier for DD2 (who has the same condition but a different presentation) as Mrs JREwing and TheHumanCatapult further back) so that new doctors in eg A&E have all her medical history to hand.

But, if it meant that when we turn up to A&E/Minor Injuries with a sprained foot or wrist or thumb to be checked out, the doctors there saw that the first consultant she saw suspected conversion disorder due to "deep rooted childhood trauma" (ie abuse of some kind), that would be the first thing they kept in mind, even though the psychiatrist she saw agreed that a lot of her difficulties were caused by that consultant ignoring the possibility of a (admittedly rare and unusual presentation) of an actual medical condition.

But then again (am getting splinters here wink), we did see an A&E doctor who quite rightly had to do some CP checking because of the lead-up to that particular visit, but used his common sense, realised that the situation was more complex than it appeared on the surface, and called an urgent case conference of the doctors in the hospital who had been dealing with her, and most importantly, rang me to tell me the outcome. Still didn't make any progress with diagnosis or treatment there, but that's besides the point.

I think what I'm getting at, is agreeing that a database in itself isn't either a good or bad idea, it's how it's used by medical professionals, and how well trained they are.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 17:23:52

durrant's report for save the children on the Swedish ban if you want to read. Longtime since I read it tbh, what I've read is what I remembered from this report and other things including my law module from 2011.

Data sharing standards vary so much between the agencies that would be involved in this that it's proved impossible to implement in the past.

It's a good idea in principle but the practice is unworkable, even with the proposed funds thrown at it.

Offred Sat 29-Dec-12 17:30:08

Once a doctor is convinced they have labelled you it very definitely affects the treatment you are able to get. Having been labelled with depression as a child (rather than the abuse I was suffering being recognised) I am still treated as hysterical, it even led to a HV refusing to help my twins with their physically based feeding problem because she was convinced I was just not looking after them properly because having had depression I was high risk for PND which I didn't have, she even threatened SS without checking their feeding/mouths. With my first because I was high risk for PND I was threatened by a midwife when I wanted to leave hospital the same day because "we wouldn't want you to not be able to cope would we?" They also failed to spot I was being abused by my partner even though he was threatening to punch the (lovely) midwife when I was in labour and me not being able to attend any midwife appointments in pg which may well have been connected to them ignoring my general cowed and downcast demeanour because doctors kept telling me I was depressed. I now don't think I ever was!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 29-Dec-12 17:49:32

I agree with lots of posters, like Boffin and spero, and midnight who are saying the database is not a solution in its own right, its only as good as the data entries and the way its used.

And as i've said before, its the way 'facts' are recorded and used that seems to be the problem, not so much the facts themselves.

I (like others on here) would be worried about inaccurate assumptions and opinions being given weight by being turned into 'facts' by entering into a data base - the computer says yes type of thinking that already exists will continue to be a problem no matter how many databases are created... unless people themselves are trained and are capable of doing a good and nuanced job. That means giving them training, and time in which to make good decisions as professionals, not a tick box culture where no one is accountable and everything is blurry and confused.

For example, I am currently in a complaints procedure with Adult social services as through their incompetence, thoughtlessness and pressure from their managers, they have labelled me as having severe behavioural issues, and cognitive problems, and have called by child 'at risk of neglect'. Insert hollow laugh here. They have never even ever met my child, adult or children's services, and has no reason (really, none), to suspect my child is being neglected. But why i hear you cry? surely no smoke without fire etc etc etc... Oh i wish i still thought like that!

Actually what has happened is that i have become physically disabled, and the adult social worker was told by her boss that she 'must' ensure my funding for my care (nowt to do with my child) is transferred to the NHS, rather than social services... so they fabricated a whole form with the view that it would be good for me as i would get more funding, but they needed to tick 2 A boxes in the form, so picked Cognition and Behaviour. So although I am a senior manager in an international company, with a first class degree, etc etc etc, they have written down that i have substantial behavioural problems, cognition problems and an example of how physically ill i am is that IF i fell, and had no one to help me, my child might be neglected. They also said among other things that i am terminally ill, and have episodes of unconsciousness (wow, my consultants must be alerted to the new diagnosis immediately, a lifetime of study is wiped away by one social worker who can't even spell the condition correctly!).

Adult social services are terribly shocked and upset that i have complained formally and said 'they didn't mean to' say what they have said, and I'm sure they genuinely didn't think about the consequences of calling my child a legal term of at risk, which is not in their remit to even start talking about let alone that its ridiculous! I'm yet to hear back formally from them and I'm sure they will be covering up and sliding out of things as is usual. However as i took legal advice, and have a lawyer very keen to take it further - as its so clear cut gross incompetence and libellous, i will fight this and get it wiped from my records... although its making me more ill to do this.

anyway, the point being, this is currently 'on my records', and so the paper trail begins which can rapidly turn into a self fulfilling prophecy, as once one person has understood the gross inaccuracies to be 'fact', they generate more paperwork, which more people equate to evidence etc. I can well see how even in a case like mine, which is laughably incompetent and disgusting, if I hadn't picked up on it (they tried to push it through without my consent, giving to the other department saying it had been signed off my myself!), but if i hadn't challenged it, paperwork becomes fact very very quickly.

so, i know this is yet more anecdotal stories, BUT the systemic incompetence, ignorance of legislation protecting children's rights, the strange blurring of opinion, supposition and untruths with 'fact'... well, a database won't help with that will it!?

i am not against a database per se, i just think its a misuse of resources when the real problem isn't the data, its people!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 29-Dec-12 17:56:26

and also, hey Mrsjrewing you remembered me smile how are you keeping? glad you've sorted out the schools horrendousness, its so hard to keep fighting and keep your head above water isn't it.

I found a temporary PA who is amazing, and although she can only help short term, we've agreed it will be part of her job to help me recruit and train a permanent person. so much better than before christmas when I was really struggling to keep going. but now i have to divert my energy into fighting ss again (see above post), when comes the time when i get to focus on just living? sigh. i really didn't want to do any more fighting.

cory Sat 29-Dec-12 18:24:03

In similar position to MrsJR (same disorder?) and have been falsely suspected of abuse though it never went as far as a court case.

The thing that really worried me was that once the consultant had settled on this explanation he refused to carry out further medical tests, despite his junior pleading with him to do so (I was earwigging).

This worried me more than the risk of having dd taken away. It seems clear in retrospect that he did do some physical harm to dd by forcing her to push against the pain which apparently is very bad for children with her condition. He also did her a great deal of emotional harm by insisting that her pain was all in her head: years later, dd still struggles with the fear of not knowing whether pain is real or not.

Better training in genetic disorders and in simple tests to diagnose them should go hand in hand with any safe-guarding measures. It is not because parents with disabled children don't want them safe-guarded, but simply because they recognise that a child who is forced through physically damaging treatment is not being safe-guarded, any more than a child who is left with abusive parents. What happened to dd was also a form of physical abuse.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 29-Dec-12 19:07:23

cory poor your dd, I too have MrsJREwing's condition - amazing how we have all found ourselves on this thread! Or not so amazing considering the condition I guess.

i have to say poor your dd sad me & my sister got told all our lives we didn't feel what we really did feel, & I well know the physical & psychological toll it takes. I hope your dd is young enough & has good family support to start recognizing what her body is telling her.

SofiaAmes Sat 29-Dec-12 19:13:11

I think that what many are saying is that by its very nature, a centralized system forces box ticking and conventional analysis. This means that children with rare and unconventional diseases (and children being abused in non-conventional ways) will be at higher risk of getting miscategorized because the system requires them to be fit into one of the provided (ie conventional) categories of the centralized (streamlined) system. I (and it seems like many other parents) don't trust the government to come up with a centralized system that can appropriately deal with unusual, rare or unconventional diseases, symptoms or situations. And personally I am wary of any system that limits in any way my ability to operate unconventionally as in my experience, my unconventional behavior has been the only way of obtaining appropriate medical care for my child.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 29-Dec-12 19:13:22

I got taken to the gp aged 4 with a dislocating collar bone... He said it was nothing & me attention seeking, and so it began. I am fighting a cascade of problems that oh guess what, all stem from my dislocating collarbone. From shoulder to upper back to lower back to hips, ankles, elbows, wrists etc...

Probably nowadays would kick off a CP enquiry. Neither would lead to a diagnosis.

Sorry slight diversion of thread.

marriedandwreathedinholly Sat 29-Dec-12 19:19:00

In a slightly different vein 15.5 years ago I went into labour at 27 weeks. When my waters broke I went straight to a flagship London teaching hospital. I had to explain DH was in court and the judge would not release him until court ended at 4 - possibly earlier if business ended sooner. The snr midwife came to see me and sympathised and empathised that my life was stressful and I agreed it was when DH was fighting a big case. Just before I enetered established labour DH's clerk called to see how the land lay. She came back and tore me off a strip because the hospital had been worried about me and she was on thje point of calling support agencies. My hospital notes clearly noted DH's occupation - barrister. DH arrived just before our son died. We were too distessed to make a formal complaint. No I do not think peoplewho do not red notes. Listen or apply any logic should be allowed to enter ant details whatsoever into databases. It is the antithesis of the experiences of many but if that could happen to us, my God what idiocy could affect more vulnerable people. It's very very scary.

MrsJREwing Sat 29-Dec-12 22:02:07

So many sad experiences. Interesting how many with rare conditions found this thread.

foxy6 Sat 29-Dec-12 22:47:42

i was told that all children under 5, the health visitor was informed. but i never had a visit concerning a visit to a&e, and i spent a lot of time there with ds2 when he was little he was very accident prone, and even told a&e staff that "daddy did it" once ( daddy didn't even know we were in a&e).

I trained as HV and we got in letters from the hospital informing us of any children who had attended A&E. We would try to go out to visit but not always possible so would then try to phone to enquire how child was. If the child who attended was in any way a cause for concern, looked after, on the child protection register then they would get a visit. This was my experience training in one local authority. My own ds has been to A&E numerous times & no-one has ever phoned or visited or followed up.

BoffinMum Sun 30-Dec-12 08:22:02

Our last experience on A and E was DS3's infamous 'SuperBoffin' experience. This involved him leaping off the top of the sofa and knocking himself out whilst fracturing his knee. The child protection questions were so light touch and skilfully done I had to be impressed, as was the sneaky full body check for other damage. But that happened to be a consultant at work, and a very experienced one as well.

This is what should be happening, The personal touch, not the technological one. And more consultants in paediatric A and E.

Completely agree with boffinmum that more skilled professionals need to be there at ground level. Nothing is as good as skilled judgement & decision making based on what you see. All the checkboxes and technological assessments are only good if the person using them uses sound knowledge and good judgment and then this is followed up appropriately.

But in the absence of that, joining up info about a and e attends cannot be a bad thing. It won't be a threshold - three in a month and you're in trouble, it will simply be used to raise warning flags.

BoffinMum Sun 30-Dec-12 09:29:48

SPB unless the quality of the data is top notch it will do more harm than good. And I for one don't have any confidence in the data entry/purging process.

tribpot Sun 30-Dec-12 09:36:23

Looking at the DH announcement it only mentions two data groups:
- whether the child is the subject of a child protection plan or is a looked after child
- a list of attendances in unscheduled care.

Data quality for pure a and e attendance will be fine ie that they attended. Agree that any more than that, diagnosis etc, would be poor.

Looked after child will be fine. Plan more dodgy unless they will have a process to complete it retrospectively. Sounds like a big job though.

That said if this is part of the child and maternity data set which I strongly suspect it is, that will be part of the setup arrangements for that

CaptChaos Sun 30-Dec-12 22:29:13

What use would a simple 'attended A&E' be in a child's file? Unless a Dx is also included, then it is useless data.

From what I remember of the BP case, there was information sharing going on, however, some professional's input was valued much lower than others by SW. eg CM flagged up concerns, not taken into account by SW, despite CM being funded by SS as P on ARR. It would be nice to think this is no longer the case, but I doubt it.

Glad to see that SS and HS databases now 'talk' to each other, they didn't when I worked at a SW led CMHT, which meant either health or SS notes had to be copied across from one to the other, without a copy/paste facility.

Not 100% sure how this will prevent abuse to be honest. Prevention is about having enough properly trained people identifying and supporting families at risk, how this is done without adequate numbers of HVs is beyond me. Once a child is taken into a hospital A&E for NAI, there tends to have been a fairly long history of abuse and unreported injury, which may or may not have been flagged up.

SofiaAmes Sun 30-Dec-12 23:01:39

My dc's elementary school (part of the Los Angeles Unified School District) started a central "joined up" attendance system a few years ago. My ds missed enormous amounts of school because of illness (5 weeks in 4th grade and 8 weeks in 5th grade). I was very diligent about making sure that the school secretary entered all his absences as "excused" which they were, but because i had a good relationship with the secretary, I wasn't required to provide doctor's notes. At the same time, I didn't follow up on my dd's attendance records because she only missed 1 day a year at most. At the end of last year, I got a letter from the central office stating that my dd had too many unexcused absences and that the next step would be a referral to ss. I tried to clear up what was clearly a mistake (she not only hadn't missed many days and I had given excuse notes for the days she had missed). Although the return address was from the school and the letter was in the principal's name, the school knew nothing about it and said it had been automatically generated by the central office's computer. They did not know how to correct the mistake (told me to contact central office, who said to contact the school) and were completely disinterested in the whole thing. The whole thing was a classic example of centralized, computerized monitoring gone wrong because no trained humans were involved in the process. The child who in theory should have been flagged because of his high level of absences was not because I manipulated the system, the child who was not absent was flagged because of data errors and in the end no one looked at the information or cared what the true story was or knew how to correct the mistake. I doubt that that system would actually catch and/or correct any neglectful parents. I think that the proposed A&E system would be similar in its lack of effectiveness.

whoopwhoopbib Sun 30-Dec-12 23:28:13

The database will only work if there is only one way of using it and every Hospital/Trust is made to use the same one.

Currently there is a computer system in place which GPs, HVs and Child Info Depts use which is meant to link one another together so for example a GP can read what a HV has written about a child during a visit.

However there are so many different ways in which this system (Government initiated I believe) can be used and not every Trust has been made to use the same system so not all areas of the country can be linked up.

This is beyond ridiculous because if you move from say London to Leicester the computer systems used are different so any information which has been recorded onto the computer will not follow you as more Trusts are becoming 'paper free'. This leads to the possibility of abuse which has been identified in London by the HV not being known by the HV in Leicester.

CaptChaos, it would be used as a simple warning indicator. Children who have attended A&E over a certain no of times in a certain period will be followed up (probably as simple as ensuing this HV phone call/visit hapens)

No need to use the same dataases. The child and matrnal dataset will be a minimum dataset and will be mandated. Whatever system they use will have to be ale to output for it. Already need to do this for other datasets anyway, so this will be a small exercise for the software suppliers.

Sirzy Mon 31-Dec-12 07:17:39

Hv phone call is Fine for under 5s, what about older children?

Health visitors already get that information about under 5s so why would this change anything? In the 25 or more trips to A and E DS has had we have had one call from the HV. Simply having that information on a database wouldn't change the responses.

they can notify the school
Some areas are very good at notifying HV, others less so. Plus in those areas that is bog standard after one attend - nothing to tell you where a child has had mutiple attendances, possibly in different areas

Sirzy Mon 31-Dec-12 07:39:18

So what are the school going to do with the information?

I know my area notifies the HV, they send a copy of the letter to me aswell and it is in much more detail than a database which simply says they attended a and e

It's just more information to add to the bigger picture. If they aready had low level concerns this may be important information.

I don't know that that is how it's going to work anyway, just my assumption/guess

marriedandwreathedinholly Mon 31-Dec-12 10:46:41

18 years ago I saw three hvs. Not one was capable of providing accurate advice in relation to bf, growth or immunisation. Not one was able to record info in the red book accurately, not one was able to answer a simple question. One even told me the baby had lost weight when the scales were set at minus 10 oz when the baby went on. And had the cheek to get arsy when I asked for them to be reset and the baby reweighed.

From what I read on here I don't think the service has improved. If a health professional has a concern can't they pick up a phone and draw it to the attention of someone more senior in their own or a corresponding department and follow it up proactively.

Baby P died because a foreigb dr failed to diagnose his broken back. Thankfully he's now struck off. His colleagues must have known he was incompetent and couldn't communicate. We need a less PC system with proactive staff not a database. And the hV service needs a root and branch overhaul to make it fit for purpose.

But an argument would be why not use the information we already do have more wisely?

Morloth Mon 31-Dec-12 23:32:58

My kids are like Ben from Outnumbered.

I have seen the inside of A&E departments around the world, multiple times in Sydney and in London.

It actually concerns me a bit how their injuries are laughed off. I mean yes in my case it is because the little snots have to run at speed everywhere and are incapable of actually thinking about whether something is a good idea before doing it - they are fast as well so even with constant supervision they manage to injure themselves. We have a saying in our house 'costume does not enable wearer to fly', but neither of them believe it...

But what if they weren't just normal childhood things? Why has no one ever questioned me properly? Why has no one called to follow them up? What if I were abusing them and these were not accidents? Because I am pleasant and calm and give them cuddles when there? Hopefully someone is paying close attention and I have just not noticed it.

Joined up thinking about this stuff could be a good idea.

Exactly. The vast majority of parents will be like you, have children that sometimes move faster than the speed of sound. Some will be neglectful or even abusive. Data are already collected. Tweaks to the submission service means this can happen behind the scenes

Spero Tue 01-Jan-13 18:39:33

Baby P did not die because of the failure of one (female) doctor. I suspect he wouldn't have survived the injuries he went in with. But one of the reasons the doctor did not undress him and examine him was because it wasn't made clear on his notes - or at least the ones she saw - that he was a child at risk. So a big part of the reason why his mother and her boyfriend were able to beat him to death was lack of proper record keeping and analysis of his situation. I am not confident a database is the cure for this.

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