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Health organisations in Cumbria welcome CQC report on childrens services

Homepage » News » Health organisations in Cumbria welcome CQC report on childrens services

Health organisations in Cumbria welcome CQC report on childrens services

Posted on Thursday 16th January 2014

A report on the Review of Health Services for Looked After Children and Safeguarding in Cumbria from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been welcomed by healthcare organisations across Cumbria as the findings show there have been significant improvements to the services for children and young people.      

NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), North Cumbria University Hospital Trust (NCUHT), University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) and Cumbria County Council who are responsible for Public Health are all working in partnership and moving forward as they recognise there is still work to do.    

The inspectors noted significant improvement in the health and well-being of some children. The review also acknowledged investment totalling £2.8 million that Cumbria CCG and CPFT have made, particularly in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), specialist nurses to work with looked after children and Health visitors since the previous CQC inspection in April 2012.  The investment in the CAMHS service has included additional staff and the introduction of an out of hours system. Feedback from children and young people has been used to improve this service.  

In the report inspectors said: “There is now a strong sense of health visiting, school nursing, specialist and adult mental health teams coming together to identify and meet needs of vulnerable children and their families.” 

The inspectors identified a number of areas where particularly good practice was observed.  This included partnership working in general practice and the quality of health assessments carried out by paediatricians for children who are looked after.

Dr Amanda Boardman, NHS Cumbria CCG’s GP Lead for Children and Safeguarding, commented: “The GP safeguarding team at the CCG have been working hard with practices across the county to improve safeguarding practice and I was pleased to see the inspectors acknowledged this.”  

“The CCG and its partners are all in agreement that the safety of children is a top priority.   The next step is for us all to agree a timetable in which the recommendations listed are dealt with as quickly as possible.”

Staff training has taken place and triage services have been improved.  Programmes have been updated to develop new practices such as designing a health passport which provides key information for young people leaving care.  The inspectors recommended that the approach of engaging young people and their families to develop services should be expanded and the report highlights the good work by a county wide multiagency safeguarding hub in managing risk for young services users.  

The report also pointed out that better communication was needed between some organisations and between the health service providers as a whole and that health services should review service provision in some areas.

To build on the good work already in place and to make sure that children’s services continue to improve in Cumbria, all the organisations will be working together to get help to families and young people as early as possible and when it is needed.   They will work with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) to protect children and young people and make sure that all Emergency Departments and Minor Injuries Units have effective child safeguarding arrangements.  

Sara Munro, Acting Director of Quality and Nursing for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: “The Trust welcomes the CQC’s report and its findings but we are very aware that there is still work to do.  Investment has recently been secured to introduce Electronic Patient Records throughout the Trust and children’s services will be the first to have the programme implemented, which will enable a better process for sharing information.  The inspectors recognised the difficulty we have recruiting in many areas of children’s services including health visitors, school nurses and senior mental health positions but a recruitment strategy to address this issue to fill vacancies is currently underway.”  

North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust said: “We welcome the CQC’s report and that there have been improvements especially around the support our maternity services are offering to patients who need extra support in times of need. We will continue to develop our services and will work closely alongside all the other agencies in Cumbria sharing information in order to further develop safeguarding practices.”

Lyn Burns, Assistant Director, Cumbria County Council’s Children’s Services, said: “We welcome the CQC’s report as it is clear that they have found significant progress since their original inspection.  In particular we note the inspectors comments about the strengthening of partnership working between health agencies and the county council.  

“However, it is equally clear there is still work to do. The report highlights areas for action by the county council, predominantly around information sharing, and we are already taking steps to improve systems and processes to ensure appropriate information is shared in a timely fashion with health agencies.  Improving the quality of services for looked after children in Cumbria are a shared responsibility across agencies and the council will continue to work with partners to make the improvements that are needed.” 

Medical Director for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, George Nasmyth, said: “We are pleased the inspectors recognised the work undertaken at the Trust to build the capacity to deliver dedicated safeguarding children supervision, and that they deemed the quality of supervision they looked at was good. We will continue to work with partners on the recommendations contained in the report and in particular continue our work to strengthen our systems in the interests of the safety of children across our area.”

Posted on Thursday 16th January 2014


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