This declaration represents assurance from Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (WMHPT) Board of progress regarding arrangements to ensure that children, who come into contact with the Trust either directly, or as a family member of one of our service users, are safeguarded from harm.
Following the death of Baby Peter, the Secretary of State asked the Care Quality Commission (Previously the Healthcare Commission) to conduct a swift review of the arrangements that NHS Trusts have in place for safeguarding children.
Following completion of this review a report on the responses of WMHPT and compliance was presented to the Trust Board as part of the Governance Report on 8 April 2009.
This declaration updates our progress in response to a letter dated 16 July 2009 from David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive to all Chairs and Chief Executives of NHS Trusts.
WMHPT staff who routinely come into contact with patients or children are CRB checked since the introduction of this requirement in 2002.
Policies and Procedures
WMHPT Child Protection Policy is up to date and is reviewed annually. It is accessible to staff via the usual Intranet and Internet websites and also via a link within the Safeguarding Children mini Intranet website. The Intranet mini website and policy references the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board Policies and Procedures.
WMHPT has a defaulted appointments policy which includes a section related to children who default appointments. Several serious case reviews have highlighted that this can be an indicator of family difficulties or emerging disengagement from services leaving children at risk.
As well as the usual referral to Children's Social Care, Child Protection and Safeguarding, incidents are reported on the WMHPT Sentinel Incident Reporting System.
The procedure for collecting training figures from the Safeguarding Children Board has been strengthened.
The Safeguarding Children mini website for staff has been updated with current training requirements.
Group A training (level one) e-learning package, accessible via the NHS Core Learning Units on the Intranet and Internet, has been promoted widely and is now mandatory for ALL relevant staff (i.e. staff who may come into contact with children and/or their parents/carers).
A comprehensive training needs analysis is underway to collect training data from ALL relevant staff.
An 'Introduction to Safeguarding' session is now included on the Induction Programme for all new staff.
Safeguarding children information and updates are included in Team Brief.
There is a nominated Director at Board level (Director of Service Development and Executive Nurse). A Named Professional for Safeguarding Children has been in post since November 2008 with the relevant experience as set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006, i.e. having paediatric nursing and health visiting qualifications and being at the appropriate level of seniority.
The Care Quality Commission report highlights that many Named Doctor roles do not have sufficient protected time allowed to fulfill their role. There is an estimated requirement of two days per month for the role and this is being taken into account in the Named Doctor's Job Plan.
Safeguarding is one of the three governance priorities set for the period 2009/2011 and as such is an expected element within all Governance Sub Group Work Plans
WMHPT Board regularly receives an update from the Named Professional for Safeguarding Children within the organisation via the Governance Report to Trust Board.
WMHPT has representation on the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board and all of its Sub-Groups ensuring that we have comprehensive partnership working.
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 states that Supervision for Safeguarding Activity is required at all levels within a Trust, and should be available for all staff that potentially come into contact with children.
WMHPT currently offers managerial and peer supervision in various forms across the Trust and safeguarding issues can be addressed within those arrangements.
Many of our practitioners come into contact with children via their parents and family members and some of our services work directly with children.
Specific safeguarding children advice and supervision is available upon request from the Named Professional. Managers/Team Leaders who need further advice in order to support their staff can also seek advice and supervision in this way.
The use of Action Learning Sets related to Safeguarding Children for Team Leaders, who provide supervision for staff, is currently being piloted. If this proves successful then it will be rolled out across other services. In addition to the existing system of available advice, this will ensure a more formal support structure.
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