Children in Care Strategic Partnership Strategic Plan: Health Section Update
This report updates the Corporate Parenting Board on the progress against the ‘Health’ section of the Children in Care Multiagency Strategic Plan.
Members considered a report which provided an update regarding progress against the health section of the Children in Care Multiagency Strategic Plan. The Designated Nurse for Safeguarding and Children in Care explained what work had taken place in relation to some of the areas listed in the health section and responded to questions raised by members.
In relation to the section on ‘Introduction of health passports to all children and young people in care’, she advised that Show Me That I Matter Panel members had expressed a preference for a paper document over an online record, but one which could work in conjunction with an app. The Foster Carers Group had also be consulted for their views as foster carers met regularly to discuss any concerns about meeting children’s health needs. Members expressed their support for the passports (an example of which was passed around the room) and they raised a couple of points about the wording used in the passports which were noted by officers.
In relation to the section on ‘Ensuring all children in care are offered a timely and high quality health assessment’ she acknowledged the significant challenges in undertaking initial health assessments and review health assessments. Delays were due to a number of factors, including the introduction of the new Mosaic system. Although some business support was provided, unlike in some other authorities this was not available for administering the initial health assessments process which was complex and time consuming and a challenge for social workers due to their workload.
Although it was acknowledged that the delays were not as severe as a year previously, officers accepted that they were still not good enough and advised that this was being dealt with as key priority. The decision to start the process of obtaining enduring consent had helped speed up the process. Some quarter 3 data was now available which showed improvements and continued improvements were expected. Work was also being undertaken with foster carers to ensure they noted the importance and timeliness of health assessments.
Officers agreed to include data for the previous 3 quarters as well as the most recent quarter in a future report to allow Members to examine progress in this area.
Members acknowledged that while a centralised business support unit could operate efficiently across some work areas, there was concern in other areas, such as children and young people, as to whether it should be considered best use of resources and issues of confidentiality and the processing of sensitive personal data also needed to be considered. Officers advised that this was being reviewed and noted Members concerns.
In relation to the section ‘Children in care should be permanently registered with a GP practice’ , the Designated Nurse advised that training had been undertaken with colleagues in primary care and children in care had been discussed as a hot topic. Through liaising with the lead GP for safeguarding in each practice, children in care would be offered the option of seeing the same GP on each visit rather than several different GPs if this was what the child preferred.
(i) That the report be noted.
(ii) That quarter 3 and 4 data on timeliness of health assessments be provided to members at a future meeting in a format which would allow them to make comparisons with previous quarters’ data.
Reason: In order that Members are updated on progress against the health section of the Children in Care Multiagency Strategic Plan.