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EVERY visit a child makes to A&E is to be logged on a nationwide database to try and stop shocking cases like the death of Baby P.
The new £8.6million system is being set up to stop more tragedies such as the deaths of youngsters Peter Connolly – known as Baby P – and Victoria Climbie.
It means NHS staff will be able to check if a child has been registered as at risk or been treated at other hospitals.
Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said: “Doctors and nurses are often the first people to see children who are victims of abuse. This will give the authorities a chance of identifying abused children much sooner.”
Dr Poulter hopes the multi-million pound software would “stop those very devious parents who do abuse children from trying to pitch up at a number of locations and trying to hoodwink medical professionals into thinking everything’s all right when it’s not.”
Beaten … Victoria Climbie
He added: “Up until now, it has been hard for frontline healthcare professionals to know if a child is already listed as being at risk or if children have been repeatedly seen in different emergency departments or urgent care centres with suspicious injuries or complaints, which may indicate abuse.
“Providing instant access to that information means vulnerable and abused children will be identified much more quickly – which will save lives.
“Baby P and Victoria Climbie were both shocking and tragic cases – we want to do everything we can to stop them happening again.”
Simon Eccles, a consultant at Homerton Hospital in East London, who is leading the new scheme said he hoped the system would reveal “routine minor injuries that a child gets that are just happening too often”.
Baby Peter died in 2007 aged 17months after suffering more than 50 injuries inflicted by his mum, her lover and his brother.
The case of Victoria Climbie, eight, shocked Britain in 2001. She died after being beaten and burned with cigarettes.