Report of the Designated Nurse, LAC – Newcastle Gateshead CCG
The Board received on the work undertaken by the CCG to support the health and wellbeing of looked after children and care leavers in Gateshead.
Due to the challenge of Covid during 2020/21 there has been an impact on the overall timeframe for initial health assessments (IHA). At the end of March 2021 the number of IHA carried out within 20 working days fell from 87.3% in the previous year to 65.3%. However 98% of review health assessments were completed within the month due, which is an improvement on 91% seen in the previous year, this exceeds the CCG target of 95%.
All 33 young people turning 18 during the year had their leaving care health passports completed.
The Health KPI’s for physical health show that Gateshead is achieving higher than the national and regional returns for completion of health assessments, developmental checks, immunisations and dental appointments. However, it was noted that the number of dental checks did drop during Covid. From January 2021 Foster Carers were advised to book dentist appointments.
KPI for emotional health and wellbeing is based on the Strength and Difficulty screening undertaken by the local authority. It was noted that gap is diminishing every year and the overall score is reducing, this is attributed to the single point of access.
Delivery of CNTW consultation sessions continued throughout Covid, during the year 56 children and young people were discussed.
In quarters one and two of 2021-22 the picture is improving, with 73.5% of IHA completed within the timeframe. 93% of review health assessments were completed within the month due, however there has been pressures within the 0-19 service due to staffing which has impacted on timeframes.
The Designated Doctor and LAC Health Team continue to undertake quality audits. Consultation data for Quarters one and two show that 37 consultations were held for Gateshead children, with only a minority of those requiring onward referral to another service.
It was reported that the LAC Health Team has remained the same whilst numbers of children have increased, therefore work is underway to secure additional resources.
In January 2021 a number of young people from Gateshead and Newcastle were recruited to develop a video with Digital Voice on the views of their health needs. The video described some of the challenges faced and support required relating to their health needs.
The Specialist Nurse LAC is leading on a development to enhance support to young people with the key aim of delaying pregnancies. There is also enhanced LAC and care leavers information being shared through GP training.
It was confirmed that further work is underway looking at the Strength and Difficulty questionnaires so that those scores are resulting in something.
The Board felt that the work with Digital Voice was a very powerful tool and any suggestions as to where this could be shown would be helpful.
It was questioned as to the uptake of Covid vaccines within the cohort. It was noted that statistics for this particular cohort are not known, however up to 8 December 2021, 50% of eligible 12-15 year olds have received their vaccination. It was also noted that information has been shared with Foster Carers to ensure consents are in place, apps have been updated and Social Workers are encouraging take up. It was agreed that officers would look to update the vaccine locations on the app and better publicise that. It was also highlighted that PA’s need to help take young people for their vaccines and that the CCG has secured funding to give care leavers bus passes so they can access vaccine sites.
RESOLVED - That the content of the report be noted and future reports be
brought to the Board twice yearly.