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Provider: Suffolk County Council

Inspection Summary


Checks on specific services

Community health services for children, young people and families

Updated 5 June 2017

We did not rate the service. We found:

  • Safety performance over time was good, the quality of healthcare records was high, equipment was serviced appropriately and environments were safe and suitable for purpose.
  • Despite low staffing numbers in some areas of the service provision, with planned future budget cuts, senior managers were taking appropriate action to sustain services. Staff we spoke too stated that despite some staffing level concerns they felt they were able to provide safe care.
  • Service users had their needs thoroughly assessed, care goals identified and care plans were in place accordingly.
  • Breastfeeding rates were above target and improving overtime and blood spot screening for eligible babies was 100%.
  • Staff were competent and access to additional training was very good.
  • We saw evidence of effective multidisciplinary (MDT) working and collaborative pathways for service users.
  • We observed staff treat people who used the service with dignity, respect and compassion.
  • Services were planned and delivered which met the needs of local people, including those with different needs and in vulnerable circumstances.
  • People could access the service in a timely way and there were examples of innovation in terms of a text messaging system used for school aged children.
  • Complaints were low and handled effectively.
  • Staff spoke highly of their seniors stating that they were visible, approachable and supportive, and described a culture within the service whereby the child was paramount, a culture of candour and working together.
  • Service users and staff had opportunity to engage with the service on varying levels, and there were numerous examples of innovation, improvement and sustainability to service provision.

However there were also a number of concerns relating to the safety, effectiveness and governance of the service that needed to be addressed. We found:

  • A lack of staff training and policy relating to the duty of candour.
  • Insufficient formal arrangements were in place for the ordering and supply of medicines.
  • The majority of service documents we reviewed, including policies and patient leaflets, did not contain either date of issue or a review date, and not all staff were able to access the service’s new policy and procedure database.
  • Some of the Health Child Programme (HCP) outcomes were not being met due to a lack of staff.
  • Performance data for the school nursing service was insufficiently captured and monitored.
  • Some data was missing from employment records such as the date when pre-employment checks were carried out.