A computer system that emails the child safeguarding team when specific patients present at the accident and emergency department has been introduced in the Midlands.
The recurrent admission patient alert system was trialled in 2006 for cancer patients at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust after some were found to have been admitted to the wrong ward.
Under the system, specialist nurses and discharge staff are given a BlackBerry so they can respond to alerts from A&E immediately.
After six months of use with cancer patients, the length of stay had reduced by a quarter in one of the units.
Staff at Sherwood Forest have found a further use for the system. Sue Spanswick, nurse adviser for safeguarding children at the trust, said it was a valuable safety net, for example in clarifying a child’s status with social services.