Lincolnshire County Council’s health visiting and children and young people nursing services have been rated as ‘Good’ overall in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection.
The inspection took place from February 25 to March 1, 2019. Inspectors concluded that services were effective, caring, responsive and well-led. The ‘Good’ score in each of those categories contributed to the positive overall rating.
However, the report published in May 2019 also states that under the question ‘Are services safe?’ the council was given a rating of ‘Requires improvement’.
The key areas of good practice highlighted in the report were:
- Staff recognised safety incidents and reported them appropriately, knew how to keep children safe and risk assessments were 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. 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
Among the areas of improvement required are hand hygiene, the cleaning of toys and sufficient space for privacy and confidentiality at a few of the children’s centres. A management plan is in place to address these issues.
Inspectors also questioned insufficient numbers of health visiting staff for children. The council said most of the relatively small number of health visitor vacancies have been filled.
It was acknowledged that a continuous programme of recruitment for health visitors is in place. The council will continue to use relief staff and work with the leadership team.
Executive Councillor for Children’s Services, Councillor Patricia Bradwell, 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.”