Nurses welcome new national child index

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has welcomed the launch of a national electronic child database that enables health practitioners to quickly identify which services a child is using.

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

The RCN said it is looking forward to working with the Department for Children, Schools and Families to implement the new system, called ContactPoint.

It will only be available to authorised staff who need it to do their jobs and will not include medical records.

Those providing a sensitive service (defined as those in the fields of sexual health, mental health and substance abuse) will be required to seek informed, explicit consent from the child or young person (or their parent/carer where appropriate) before recording their contact details on ContactPoint.

Dr Peter Carter, the RCN’s chief executive and general secretary, said: ‘Nurses, midwives and health visitors play a key role in supporting children and young people. Some practitioners have already experienced similar schemes and have advised us they are confident that Contactpoint will enable them to contact the right professionals quickly. When we are talking about the well-being and safety of children and young people this can only be a good thing.’

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