Members will receive an update on the arrangements in place across the City to meet the health needs of Children in Care.
Members received an update on the arrangements in place across York to meet the health needs of Children in Care.
The Designated Nurse and Doctor for Safeguarding and Children in Care were in attendance to give an update and inform Members of the statutory guidance promoting the health and wellbeing of Looked After Children. They explained how Looked After Children had many of the same health issues as their peers but that the extent of these were often greater because of their past experiences.
Officers addressed various sections of the report, where it was noted that:
· The relaunch and staged introduction of the Health Passports in 2018 supported children, young people and their carers’ in understanding their current and future health needs. An audit was planned to take place during the early part of 2020 to establish how well they were used and how this impacted on the health care experienced by children and young people in Care.
· The timeliness to ensure that all children and young people received an Initial Health Assessment (IHA) remained challenging. Members noted that the reasons for the delays were complex and multifactorial and that Officers were meeting bi-monthly to examine the data and agree actions to address specific issues.
· All Paediatricians at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who completed IHA’s, received annual training on how to undertake a quality Initial Health Assessment.
· There was a pathway followed by health practitioners should a young person decline their initial or review health assessment.
· In 2018 Harrogate District Foundation Trust (HDFT) developed a specific Looked After Children’s Dental Pathway to ensure that Children in Care across York and North Yorkshire could access the HDFT Community Dental Service via direct referral from professionals involved in their care.
· The North Yorkshire and York Children in Care Health Professionals Network was chaired by a Designated Doctor for Children in Care and they met bi-monthly. The key function of this network was to continually strive to improve the health outcomes for all children in care in our area.
Members expressed some concerns in the analysis data, attached as appendix 1 and 2 of the report, and in answer to their questions it was noted that:
· The main holder of a child’s Healthy Passport were advised on keeping the document safe and confidential.
· The delays in offering paediatric appointments were a concern and that the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group had worked with York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to introduce key performance indicators which would allow greater scrutiny of the access to paediatric appointments. A new Single Point of Contact post within the Local Authority would support Social Workers in managing health assessment requirements, requests and liaison with those involved to request assessments in a timely manner.
· The Sexual Health Services and the Specialised Nursing Team for Looked After Children were developing expertise and effective health care responses for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people.
Members thanked Officers for their update and agreed that health assessments were a comprehensive document that required a number of practitioners to be actively involved in completing them.
Resolved: That the update be noted.
Reason: To keep the Board updated.