NHS Pilot Project in Derbyshire Uses the Latest Technology to Identify Early Signs of Child Neglect

With child welfare under scrutiny are lessons really being learnt from instances of serious child abuse and death in England?

A pilot project in Derbyshire is currently underway that aims to improve the information sharing between professionals from different agencies to better safeguard children as well as domestic abuse cases.

Course Source Limited worked together with the NHS Innovation Centre on the Breaking the Cycle of Abuse e-learning project at the behest of multiple agencies in Derbyshire and have halved the development time for such a project using Mindjet Connect.

Mindjet Connect is a collaborative software tool which connects an array of experts and professionals from NHS Innovations East Midlands, Derbyshire County Council Social Care Department Adult Services, Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board, and Derbyshire Police Service over the web. The experts feed their knowledge into the web-based workspace in a multi agency approach that is hoped will become the blueprint for a national scheme on 'spotting the early signs of abuse'.

"The difficulty of getting and collating contributions and input from teams in a variety of agencies and institutions are enormous if, as used to be the case, you have to create a base and then keep circulating drafts for comment and amendment. Each contributor has a slightly different perspective and needs that must to be met by the end product", explains Laurence Wilson, Head of Instructional Design at Course-Source Ltd.

On the output side, access needs to be available to many levels of staff in these organisations plus others, such as care workers, teachers and child minders, who may benefit from awareness of how to spot early signs of abuse and knowing what intervention is available and how to activate it.

"The specialists and practitioners contributing to our training course development are experts in their field", continues Laurence Wilson, "Obviously they are not computer experts, designers or necessarily educationalists. So, the project required them to be able to contribute to an evolving body of course material with comments, suggestions and case studies from their work and ideas for how to put the information across to the various levels of personnel that might benefit from access to the course material."

The solution adopted was for all concerned to collaborate on-line using mind mapping through the use of Mindjet Connect. Mindjet Connect allows access to the MindManager maps in a secure, online environment enabling you to collaborate around maps with anyone from virtually anywhere. With MindManager and Mindjet Connect, multiple team members can access and update the same map and see instantaneous progress.

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