Swindon’s community health services for children, young people and families have been given the thumbs up by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who described services as ‘safe’ with some outstanding features.
CQC inspectors said that overall the services provided by the Council, which include health visiting, school nursing, therapy and a range of family health support services, were safe, effective, caring, responsive and well‑led.
The CQC carried out its inspection at the end of March and its report, published today (12 July), identifies many examples of excellent work delivered by Swindon Borough Council staff.
Inspectors described as outstanding the work of the children’s complex care team in delivering acute and urgent end-of-life care and their support to children and their families in the community.
The specialist fluency service provided by speech and language therapists was also judged as outstanding.
Inspectors noted the high standard of safeguarding supervision and examples of “outstanding multi-disciplinary working”. They added that there was evidence from talking to staff of a strong connection with the local community.
CQC inspectors received feedback from Swindon families that was consistently positive about the caring and professional approach from staff. The report also highlighted many examples of effective leadership.
The inspectors said that records were managed in a way that kept people safe and protected confidentiality.
Special mention was made of the way in which the Council involves children, young people, families and carers in shaping and improving services.
The CQC did not highlight any concerns, and only a small number of areas for improvement were identified.
The five areas for improvement identified include continuing actions to reduce waiting times for therapy and targeted mental health appointments, reviewing the cover arrangements for on-call support for the children’s complex care team and updating staff about the recording of consent and reporting of non-clinical incidents.
Maria Young, Head of Children, Families and Community Health at Swindon Borough Council said: “This is a real testament to the hard work and dedication of all our practitioners. It gives me great pleasure to read this report, and I want to thank everyone involved.
“The few areas of improvement identified are already being addressed. Being a local authority delivering health services for children is unusual and this excellent report shows how successful this innovative model can be.”
Cllr Fionuala Foley, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Our Community Health Services teams deal with thousands of referrals each year and they do a magnificent job in often very difficult circumstances. This report by the CQC gives them some well-deserved recognition for the work they do.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our service users who took the time to tell the CQC what they thought about our services. The inspectors pointed out that the feedback they received was consistently positive, which was really pleasing.”