King's College Hospital

Delivered an Open Source Solution, passing the rigorous HSCIC assurance process, allowing data from the Spine to be traced and integrated into clinical workflows much more rapidly than previously available

The Trust

King’s College Hospital, a leading NHS Foundation Trust with a world-class reputation for excellence, has been supporting the Open Source movement in the NHS for many years.

Their latest offer back to the NHS is a re-usable solution to address three core principles of the NHS information strategy; NHS number compliance, Improved patient demographics data quality and National Child Protection Information Sharing.

The Challenge

  • How can we accurately identify new patients in real time, to safely join up the information we might already hold about them across the NHS?
  • Finding a needle in a haystack. How can we easily identify vulnerable children, at the point of care?
  • Can these problems be solved once, with the solution released back to the NHS for re-use under an open source software license?

The Answer

  • Working with experts at Answer Digital, an Open Source Solution has been designed and implemented, passing the rigorous HSCIC assurance process.
  • The Spine holds information about a patient that can be used to improve services. Spine Mini Services were introduced as a method for almost immediate access to this information, allowing data from the Spine to be traced and integrated into clinical workflows much more rapidly than previously available.
  • A subset of Spine data is made available, and much of the responsibility for access control is federated to the organisation accessing the Spine. It becomes their responsibility to ensure that appropriate access controls are in place.

"By getting rapid access to validated NHS Numbers, this application helps us to offer our patients safer, more efficient and joined up care.

I am really pleased that we may be making a national contribution to the improved care of vulnerable children. What a fabulous outcome it will be if just a few children go on to lead fulfilling lives as a result of this work."

"The CP-IS system is at the heart of this digital transformation to increase the safety of children through efficiency, inclusivity, accountability and responsibility. With the help of Integration services from Answer Digital, we can help make these key strategic and operational changes a reality."

The Benefits

  • Improved Child Protection Information Sharing capability
  • Increased NHS Number compliance
  • Improved patient demographics data quality
  • NHS-owned Open Source Code available
  • Solution architected to NHS ITK standards
  • Either local or hosted Software as a Service available on a low-cost monthly fee
  • Implementation, Integration with existing systems and Support services available

The Strategic Context

  • The Child Protection – Information Sharing (CP-IS) project is an NHS England sponsored work programme dedicated to delivering a higher level of protection to children who have been identified as affected by abuse or neglect when they visit NHS unscheduled care settings. Nearly 120,000 young people in England have been assessed as being vulnerable or at risk and are looked after or have a child protection plan.
  • Key information about these children has been made available using Spine Mini Services. This is a nationally accessible service to identify in real time whether a child is particularly vulnerable. This will enable clinicians to act more appropriately. King’s are using this functionality when children and expectant mothers present at Maternity, A&E or other unscheduled care settings
  • The CP-IS project will cost £6.78 million to deliver over a five year period, but by enabling early intervention and better outcomes for children, CP-IS will contribute to a reduction in the costs of dealing with abuse and neglect that is much greater than the initial investment.
  • It was estimated in 1996 that the annual cost of dealing with the intervention and consequences of child abuse and neglect was approximately £735 million

We provided the following digital expertise

Back-end Development


Automated testing

Agile Delivery