Health services for vulnerable children are praised

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A watchdog has praised health services for vulnerable children in Bedford Borough following a review.

The Care Quality Commission’s report covers the performance of Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), as well as healthcare providers and Local Area Teams (LATs) with a focus on children’s experiences and the outcomes that affect them.

BCCG has been judged to have a strong and effective safeguarding leadership in place and works well with the local authority, which supports an openness and transparency in discussion about achieving best outcomes for children and young people.

Other key findings from the report include:

> Health visitors can ensure that health teams are aware of low levels of domestic violence and offer timely advice and support to victims.

>BCCG has good governance and monitoring of health care providers, as well as robust management of contracts to ensure good accountability.

>GPs in Bedfordshire have a good level of engagement and their contribution to child safeguarding is good.

>Good compliance with required levels of training, in particular the safeguarding programmes developed and delivered by professionals in BCCG.

>Improvements in IT systems for GP practices has provided opportunities for information sharing to ensure children are supported in a co-ordinated way.

Anne Murray, director of nursing at Bedfordshire CCG said: “We welcome the CQC report on health services for safeguarding and looked after children.

“The information from the CQC review is made more valuable by including the reflective experiences of children and young people as well as parents/carers.

“We have worked closely with local authority colleagues to build good working relationships which help us all achieve good outcomes for vulnerable children and GPs have shown a firm commitment to engage in safeguarding training. BCCG is putting into action the CQC’s recommendations, some of which have already been achieved.”