Database to identify possible child abuse?


    This is being reported in UK news today.

    I worked ER in England in the late 1980s, and we had a computer system back then that flagged up 'at risk' children, within each county.

    So why has it taken 25 years for this to become national?

    Apart from my cynicism regarding the speed with which this was masterminded, I'm also wary of any database that requires an exact match for records to flag up.

    How many times do patients book into ER and a slightly different spelling or DOB is recorded? Sometimes its deliberate, other times its clerical error.
    Dad brings the kid in and inadvertently gives a wrong DOB, maybe that of another of his kids, or the name gets spelled differently.
    And with so many foreign names around, especially in London, its all to easy for folk to have half a dozen medical records at just one hospital. Often its not even clear which is the first name and which is the surname.

    And there are private hospitals with ERs, now, are they included?

    Relying on a database that has flaws should never over-ride clinical judgement or even good 'ol "gut feeling".

    Seeing the NHS flaunt this 'new' database as a solution makes me very uneasy.
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