Child Safeguarding process improved with introduction of electronic referrals

Child Safeguarding referrals can now be made electronically from Cumbrian health services to social services in less than 10 minutes.  In an environment where every minute counts, e-referrals allow for a timely intervention of the child’s care and puts into action what is needed more quickly and efficiently.

Heather McFarlane Strategic Lead for Child Safeguarding & Protection at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said,

“Previously, it was taking staff over two hours to fully refer a child from our Trust through to social services. e-Referrals allow us to dramatically reduce the length of time it takes to get our patients referred to the appropriate place of care.  

The information we need about the child is timely, fully available, accurate and secure. The treatment and patient pathway is tracked, consistent and audited all which improves the outcomes and safety of some of our most vulnerable patients. This will allow for the most appropriate course of action to be put in place faster & more efficiently, improving the outcomes for the child and the family involved.”

Child Safeguarding referrals can be made electronically from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust to the Cumbria County Council’s Children’s Services. North Cumbria Acute Hospitals Trust will be coming onto the system this spring.

The child safeguarding e-referral is the latest system to go live in the programme to implement e-referrals across Cumbria linking up child health and social care.

The Cumbria wide e-referral process will runacross health and social providers across the region, joining up patient care. e-referrals will continue to be rolled out across Acute Care and Community services, and introduced into Out of Hours services, Mental Health, Hospices & Care Homes throughout the remainder of 2015. The roll-out and development of this is being supported by funding from the first – ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards’ –round of NHS England’s tech fund, along with the North East and North Cumbria Academic Health Science Network.

Funding has also recently been confirmed by the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network, to roll the Strata system out into North Lancashire for patients using University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay for in patient services supported by Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Foundation Trust and St John’s Hospice. Lancaster. Also Drug and alcohol services provided by Greater Manchester West Foundation Trust, to patients in South Cumbria.

e-referrals are a significant element of the eHealth Cumbria programme that is being rolled out as we move towards a paperless NHS by 2018.

The organisations involved in the project include: Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Cumbria CCG, Cumbria County Council, North Cumbria NHS Trust, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and  Strata Health.  eHealth Cumbria is hosted by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.