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Suffolk children’s services now up to scratch, says CQC

PUBLISHED: 11:30 27 January 2019

Suffolk County Council children and young people's services were inspected by the CQC in November. Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk County Council children and young people's services were inspected by the CQC in November. Picture: ARCHANT

A health watchdog has said it is now satisfied with the county’s children’s services, following concerns over governance in 2017.

Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for childrens services, education and skills, praised staff. Picture: SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY/SCCGordon Jones, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for childrens services, education and skills, praised staff. Picture: SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY/SCC

The Care Quality Commission published a report following its unannounced inspection of health provision in the children and young people’s service (CYP) at Suffolk County Council in November.

It represented the first visit since 2017, when a notice was issued calling for improvements to governance arrangements.

The CQC said it was now satisfied all requirements were being met, following the re-inspection.

Councillor Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said: “I welcome this report from the Care Quality Commission.

“The recent inspection reviewed some areas where it was felt previously that we could have done more.

“I’m pleased to see that the inspectorate has found that we have taken their comments on board and made the necessary improvements to the service.

“I am incredibly proud of the service for their continued dedication to the children and families we work with, and I’d like to thank staff for their ongoing commitment to improving the service so that we can provide effective and safe care to our children and young people.”

The inspection in 2017 said “systems and processes were not established nor operated effectively to ensure compliance with the requirements of this regulation”.

It also ordered further work in updating pre-employment records for staff, such as references, and clearer systems for ordering medicines.

Among the areas the CYP services oversees are school nursing, children in care and health visitors.

Inspectors praised the feedback response of families using the service, with a 94% rate of recommendation, while inspectors noted that “clear processes and systems were now in place”.

In her report, deputy chief inspector of hospitals Amanda Stanford said: “Quality checks of electronic records assured staff that children and young people were on the correct treatment pathway.”

She added: “Staff described the service’s culture as being open and transparent with managers who were visible, supportive and approachable.”

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