Agenda item

Health of LAC Annual Report

Report of Strategic Director, Care Wellbeing and Learning


The Committee received an update of the work and outcomes for the Looked After Children and Young People Health Team in Gateshead 2016-17.


It was noted from the report that the team recorded a total of 187 notifications of children and young people becoming looked after in 2016-2017 of which 165 had IHA’s completed. The remaining 22 were/have not been done for the

following reasons: 2 no consent received, 1 did not attend appointment, 1 asylum seeker deemed to be 18+, 3 left care before appointment could be arranged, 1 absconded,14 left care without consent being received.


The Committee were further advised that the LAC Health Team are commissioned to undertake statutory health assessments for Looked After Children up to their 18th birthday and to support care leavers 18+ to access health services. It was noted that all young people leaving care are provided with a Leaving Care Passport and that a drop in for care leavers has been tried with the support of the LAC team.


A summary of the work being done with unaccompanied asylum seeking children, foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and drug and alcohol services was provided.


It was noted that within sexual health services there was a total of 3 young people who had pregnancies during the year. 2 of the young people had their babies during the reporting period and the other is due after the reporting period. All of the young women have engaged with the Family Nurse Partnership. A further summary of the adoption and fostering work was provided to the Committee.


An update on the training offered to residential and foster carers about the training needs of young people was provided. The following points were highlighted from the report:


·         The Designated Doctor LAC delivered training regarding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) prior to her retirement to a range of audiences including Paediatricians, Midwives, Nurses, GPs, CYPS, Community Health Workers, a range of educational professionals, probation workers, Social Workers and Barnardos staff.


·         Looked after children’s health needs & issues are included in Level 3 safeguarding training to GPs, A&E obstetric and paediatric staff Level 2 safeguarding training delivered in Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust.


·         Level 3 safeguarding training: ‘Looked After Children – Health Professionals Role’ continues to be delivered to community health staff and doctors who have or may have involvement with this client group by South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. The training on Quality Health Assessments for LAC is delivered as part of this course for those carrying out health assessments from South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust.


It was stated that inspectors identified that Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in Gateshead are safe and achieve good outcomes. It was further noted that agencies are working well together to meet the needs of children with SEND although some areas for development were suggested.


The Committee received an update on the team developments and were advised of the priority actions for the service for 2017-18. These included:


·         Continue a programme of audit strengthened and influenced by the Designated Nurse LAC in the CCG.


·         Embed RAG rating for young people age 15 –17 years in relation to health needs to support their transition to leaving care. To monitor the progress of this.


·         Continue to develop work supporting the more vulnerable care leavers, including health involvement at Health Transitions Meeting.


·         Contribute to the further development of the regional pathway for the diagnosis of children with FAS/FASD Review of the work that has already happened in Gateshead will feed into this process.


·         Continue to work closely with the Local Authority to improve the overall timeframes for Initial Health Assessments.


·         Recruitment to the post of Designated Doctor LAC is a key priority for the coming year. In the interim arrangements are in place to cover the vital elements of this role.


·         To monitor the updated process for SDQs and to use the score as part of the health assessment.


·         Obtain feedback from children and young people regarding health assessments, to ensure the voice of the child is heard.


·         Provide Level 3 LAC training to health professionals at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.


·         The timeliness of consents and initial health assessments will be reviewed continuously throughout 2017-18.


·         LAC Health Team will provide support to drop in sessions.



It was asked whether any data was held on the dental treatment received by LAC in comparison to those who are not LAC. It was advised that there are no firm statistics held on this however there are no known concerns around LAC receiving adequate dental treatment from anecdotal evidence.


A question was asked as to whether there is a ‘prevent’ agenda’ for FASD children including early intervention work with young people in early pregnancy. It was noted that work is ongoing to provide support and early interventions to young women who are pregnant to educate them on the risks of alcohol consumption. It was further stated that a wider consultation on this issue is planned.




(i)            That the Committee noted the contents of the report and the priority actions for 2017/18.


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