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South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust has been asked to take action by the Care Quality Commission following a focussed inspection of safeguarding children

28 October 2016
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has told South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust that it must make further improvements to protect children and young people who may be at risk of harm.

In December 2015, following a comprehensive inspection, England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals had rated the trust as Requires Improvement. During this unannounced focussed inspection, on 27-28 July this year, the team looked specifically at the process for safeguarding children and young people at South Tyneside District Hospital.

The inspection report is available on the CQC website.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:

“When we comprehensively inspected the services run by South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust in 2015, we found that staff were universally committed to delivering compassionate person centred care to patients and this was reflected in the Outstanding rating awarded to the trust for caring services at the time.

“However we were worried about the trust’s ability to safeguard children and young people following a joint targeted area inspection earlier this year, which is why we returned for this focused inspection. I am disappointed that we saw little improvement in this area and have told the trust they have work to do.

“Although staff understood their responsibilities for safeguarding children and young people, there were no effective systems or processes in place to support them in identifying and protecting those that might be at risk.

“We found limitations within the patient recording system in the emergency department, which meant there was a lack of information available to staff, and there was limited oversight of safeguarding at management level.

“These are areas which South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust must address to ensure that children and young people aren’t put at risk.”

Although staff understood their responsibilities for safeguarding children and young people, the systems did not support staff to identify and protect those at risk.

The report identifies a number of areas for improvement, including:

  • The trust must review the culture in the paediatric department and ensure that staff accountability, roles and responsibilities for safeguarding children are clear.
  • Formal supervision processes for safeguarding children must be put in place in maternity, paediatrics and the emergency department.
  • Training data must be accurate so that the trust is able to monitor by staff group those that have completed their safeguarding training.
  • The trust must ensure processes are in place for reviewing those under 18 attending South Tyneside District Hospital to ensure all vulnerabilities and safeguarding risks are identified.
  • Documentation must meet the requirements recommended by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The report is based on a combination of the inspection findings and information from CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring system.


For further information, please contact Kerri James, CQC Regional Engagement Communications Officer by email or by phone on 07464 92 9966.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here.

Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

This report follows a focussed inspection on the quality of services provided at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. Inspection teams include a range of clinical and other experts including experts by experience.


Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led? You can find out more about CQC’s approach to inspection on our website at


Registered providers of health and social care services are required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. For further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings, please visit:

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.