The Care Quality Commission have rated Lincolnshire County Council’s health visiting and children and young people nursing services as ‘Good’ overall, following an inspection at the end of February.
Overall, inspectors concluded that services were effective, caring, responsive and well-led.
Coun Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Children’s Services, said: “This is a really positive report which confirms we are providing good services for children, young people, their families and carers in Lincolnshire. I’m pleased that inspectors can see we have a clear vision for the services we need to provide for local people, with strong support from all staff involving parents and children in the decisions that affect them.
“Congratulations to all staff who do so much to ensure effective support is provided on a daily basis. While there is a lot to celebrate in this report, we recognise there are things we can do better and we are targeting those areas to make sure practice is as good as it can be and staff feel fully supported and valued.”
The inspection report highlighted key areas of good practice:
○ Staff recognised safety incidents and reported them appropriately, knew how to keep children safe and risk assessments are clearly documented.
○ Based effectively on the national Healthy Child Programme, staff from different agencies work well together for the benefit of children and their families and referrals and transfers of children to other services are carried out safely.
○ Staff care for children and families with compassion, providing emotional support and involving parents in decisions about their children.
○ Services are planned and provided to meet the needs of local people and their communities, taking account of children’s individual needs and using innovative ways to improve service provision.
○ There is a vision for the future of service provision involving staff and parents, with managers ensuring high quality sustainable care and staff committed to improving services.
While children are well cared for and kept safe from abuse, the report does note that there are small areas that require improvement.
Hand hygiene, the cleaning of toys and sufficient space for privacy and confidentiality at a few of our children’s centres has been highlighted. A management plan is in place to address this.
Inspectors also questioned insufficient numbers of health visiting staff for children. There are a relatively small number of health visitor vacancies, the majority of which have been filled, including from student health visitors who have been offered a post when they qualify.
It was acknowledged that a continuous programme of recruitment for health visitors is in place and the council will continue to use relief staff and work with the leadership team to ensure teams are supported until that happens.