Child protection inspections for health providers announced

GPs, health visitors, school nurses, hospitals and mental health services will be inspected on child protection procedures and the quality of the journey through services for a child, starting from next week.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will conduct its child protection inspection programme over the next two years, targeting 110 local authority areas and prioritising those with the greatest risk.

A spokesperson for the CQC said this risk had been determined by the latest inspection findings, information from serious case reviews, information from other inspectors, whistle-blowing and safeguarding information.

“In addition to checking safeguarding arrangements, inspectors will examine how children in the care of local authorities have their health needs met,” the spokesperson added.

Inspectors will check:

• Do health staff have the right training?
• Are professionals making timely and accurate referrals to mental health and substance misuse services?
• Do acute services have alert systems to identify and track children considered to be at risk?
• Do children in care have their health needs assessed and managed?
• Are services generally safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive to children’s needs?

CQC head of operational improvement Sue McMillan said the new inspection regime had been put in place ahead of a planned multi-agency inspection programme due in 2015.

This will see the CQC working with Ofsted and inspectorates for police, prisons and probation on a single inspection in relation to children’s services.

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