Review of health services in Rotherham

Published: 14 July 2015 Page last updated: 12 May 2022

CQC’s safeguarding and hospital inspection teams have both carried out a review of services in Rotherham.

The safeguarding team assessed all health providers in the local authority area for the effectiveness of the safeguarding arrangements and it also looked at health services for looked after children.

At the same time, CQC’s specialist hospital team inspected Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust using its new methodology, which assesses whether people are receiving care that is safe, caring, effective, responsive to their needs, and well-led. This has rated the trust as Requires Improvement in a report that also publishes today. All the hospitals core services have been inspected and like the child safeguarding team’s assessment of other health services in the borough, it has identified that safeguarding arrangements need to improve.

CQC took this step of joining teams from different inspection programmes together at the same time because of Rotherham’s known previous issues. However, it was also part of an existing two-year programme with the dedicated child safeguarding team inspecting 50 local authority areas within this time.

At Rotherham, both teams found improvements must be made in child safeguarding and that some agencies still do not understand their roles or responsibilities in this area. Contraceptive and sexual health services in particular and these partners can play a potentially critical role in identifying children at risk.

CQC has asked for an action plan from Rotherham Hospital NHS Trust and from its partners in the borough and it will check progress.

CQC, Ofsted and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary are tomorrow expected to announce plans for a series of dedicated safeguarding inspections in six areas of England between October and April 2016. These joint targeted area inspections will assess how local agencies work together to protect children, focused on specific areas of concern. This will include work around Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and those missing from home and care.

Further to these inspections, CQC is adapting the way it inspects to build in new assessments of how health providers are protecting vulnerable children and young people. All inspections will consider CSE in future and all hospital planned inspections will have a specialist safeguarding advisor on the team.