Working across boundaries to ensure we’re getting it right for every child

Keeping Scotland’s children safe relies upon effective data and record management. The Lothian Chronology Working Group has been using an agile methodology to explore how to improve the current data and record management process. 

Partnership working

The Lothian Chronology Working Group is a multidisciplinary team, which includes representation from:

  • National Services Scotland (NSS)
  • East Lothian Council
  • Midlothian Council
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • West Lothian Council
  • NHS Lothian
  • Police Scotland
  • The Care Inspectorate.

Improving practises

Tom McHugh, Strategic Partnerships Lead at NSS, commented: “The group was set up following the publication of a number of Care Inspectorate reports regarding Children and Young People’s Services. These highlighted that when multiple agencies were involved in risk management around a child’s wellbeing, data and record keeping practices could be improved through better aggregation and integration of information.

“We’ve been looking at how information is collated, stored and shared throughout Lothian. Carrying out user research has allowed us to develop multiple personas, inform the development of standardised assessment criteria, and produce guidance and templates to promote a common approach to recording information.”

Assessments of existing data and record management systems are currently taking place throughout Lothian. Results are then given to a Pan Lothian Chronology Oversight Board. This includes representatives from The Care Inspectorate, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and Young Scot.

A consistent way of managing information

Tom went on to stress the importance of aligning with the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, and Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC). 

“The GIRFEC policy describes how joined-up working is required – it’s about children, young people, parents and the services they need working together in a coordinated way to meet specific needs and improve wellbeing,” Tom explained.

Scaling up the outcomes of this working group is the next step. It will allow the standardisation of processes for every child – regardless of where they live in Scotland.

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