Report by the Director of Children’s Services
36.1 The Panel considered a report from Dr Katyoon Asfarpad Designated Doctor for LAC and Linda Burgess, Designated Nurse for LAC. The report detailed the health needs of children and young people who are already in care or who are coming into care and the way in which these needs are managed. The Panel were informed that all Designated LAC professionals within the Sussex CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) have contributed towards the report.
36.2 The Panel were
updated on developments regarding the health of LAC and the health
services provided for them for the 2018/19 period. This update included details on:
the quality of Health assessments for LAC were
positively highlighted by Ofsted in the East Sussex inspection and
received an outstanding rating.
· Safeguarding standards: since April 2019 all CCG contracts for providing services for LAC must meet the requirements of the Sussex Safeguarding Standards which include having a named lead for the child or young person.
Initial Health Assessments:
there is a multi-agency focus on improving meeting
statutory timescales for Initial Health Assessments (IHA) for
there are plans moving forward to standardise and
align reporting requirements for service providers across Sussex,
this will allow for more accurate data comparisons and will aim to
reduce variation in data collection methods.
Continuity of care:
the Designated Doctor and Designated Nurses are
working with health care providers across Sussex to ensure that key
principles regarding medical records of children who are adopted
are being applied. This includes, for example, ensuring that health
records held by an organisation are managed appropriately to ensure
continuity of care as the child moves from one health provider to
36.3 The Panel
asked whether mental health support for LAC was being treated as a
key priority and whether joint working
across services was ensuring that support was in place. In
response, the Panel were informed that Designated Professionals are
working closely with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Services) to improve the waiting times for support for LAC.. One
aspect of this work includes, for example, Designated Professionals
holding regular meetings with the Sussex Partnership Foundation
Trust to ensure that mental health services are being treated as a priority. The Panel were also
informed of a key development which means that all health
professionals can now make a referral for LAC support
from CAMHS, whereas previously this
could only be done by a child’s social worker.
36.4 The Panel
discussed waiting times for mental health support for children and
young people. In particular members were concerned about the impact
of delays in support being provided for LAC. The Panel therefore
agreed that a letter should be sent by Councillor Tidy to the
Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust highlighting the concern and asking what steps could be taken to
reduce waiting times for this especially vulnerable
1) to note the report; and
2) Councillor Tidy to write on behalf of the Panel to the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust regarding waiting times for mental health support for LAC.