CQC publish multi-agency review of Brent child safeguarding and looked after children services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has carried out a review of all health services for Looked after Children and the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements in Brent.

The CQC report, published today, 30 July, provides a comprehensive review of health services covering the topics – early help, children in need, child protection, looked after children, management and leadership and governance.

In total, the CQC took the account of 60 children and young people who have used services provided by CNWL, Ealing Hospital Integrated Care Organisation, North West London Hospital NHS Trust and Care UK. In Brent, children and young people make up a quarter of the population with 92% of school age children being from a black or minority ethnic group.

CNWL provides community child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in the borough. There are also two specialist inpatient services supporting children and families: Collingham Child and Family Clinic and Coombe Wood Mother and Baby Unit.

The majority of mental health care for children, young people and families is provided through Brent CAMHS, which was acknowledged in the report as team with expertise and a good mix of skills. The review recognised the team’s hard work to provide rapid access appointments for emergency cases and careful management of their caseload to offer reasonable waiting periods.

The review also highlights information sharing between Brent CAMHS and the Looked After Children Team as an example of good practice so staff have access to the most up to date situation.

One foster carer who looks after young people praised CNWL’s CAMHS staff in the review for not giving up in engaging young people. She said “they haven’t given up” and “CAMHS are really good, even if the children don’t want to go, I can go and get their advice”.

The Trust’s substance misuse service in Brent – The Junction Drug and Alcohol Service – is also acknowledged in the review for its expertise and specialist knowledge in managing young people who are pregnant and have substance misuse problems.

Governance of safeguarding within CNWL is reported as high, noting the annual audit that makes sure there is consistency in practice and local safeguarding champions who audit safeguarding documentation to identify any issues and develop best practice models in keeping children and young people safe.

Claire Murdoch, CNWL Chief Executive said “This review is so important and offers valuable insight on how different health providers can work together to improve care. We believe integration of health services is the best way to improve the quality and experience of services and we look forward to working with other agencies to take forward the review’s recommendations.”

For further information visit: http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20140722%20CLAS%20Brent%20Final%20Report.pdf