Virgin Care’s healthcare professionals and support workers from Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service have been praised for their ‘compassion and kindness’ to patients and service users and for being ‘focused on their needs’.
The comments were made in a new inspection report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which rated the service ‘good’ overall and ‘good’ for each domain – Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well-led. This was the first CQC inspection for the service, which started in April 2017.
Inspectors say the service, Virgin Care in partnership with Barnardo’s, had ‘a vision for what it wanted to achieve’ and ‘staff felt respected, supported and valued’…and ‘were focused on the needs of children and young peoples’ receiving care’. They added; ‘The service made sure staff were competent for their roles.’
The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service works on behalf of Essex County Council and NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group providing health visiting, school nursing, family health education and support across the County as well as specialist children’s community health services across West Essex, including paediatrics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy and children’s specialist nursing.
Other services include nursing for looked after children, parenting support, support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, providing information for children, parents and school staff on health issues and support for physical, emotional and developmental issues.
The service has 29 multidisciplinary Healthy Family Teams that work from districted-based Family Hubs and Delivery Sites, providing pre-birth to 19 services centred around GP practices and clusters of secondary schools, feeder primary schools, nurseries and their communities.
The report, which follows an inspection carried out on Tuesday 16th July this year, says ‘the service planned and provided care in a way that met the needs of local people and communities served’.
And it adds it is ‘inclusive and takes ‘account of children, young people and their families individual needs and preferences’.
In regards to the way the service is run, CQC inspectors say it has ‘a vision’ for what it wants to achieve and ‘leaders and staff actively and openly engage with patients, staff, equality groups, the public and local organisations.’’
In addition, it adds people can ‘access the service when they need it’ and receive ‘the right care promptly’.
The report also looked at recruitment and noted the service has ‘vacancies as posts were difficult to recruit to due to national shortages of specific roles’. But it states that while these have led to a shortage of health visitors, agency staff used to fill gaps ‘received a full induction, with competency checks, and were buddied with a substantive member of staff’. The service has also created a new Child and Family Wellbeing Nurse role as well as starting 25 additional Health Visitor students and additional nurse apprentices this year. This will ensure more health visitors come through the local system in future years.
The report also praises the way the service adapts to meet changing needs of the local population and singles out a new initiative launched last year called JADES (Journey of Autism Diagnosis and Early Support) which provides specialist early interventions and support for children suspected of having Autism, and their families.
Richard Comerford, Managing Director of Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, said: “I am very pleased that the inspectors have noted the hard work of all our colleagues across all our services and the important work that we do helping children, their families and carers.
“It is great news that we have received a ‘good’ rating. We have been totally focused on continually driving through improvement since we started and this continues today.
“We want to provide the best services we can for all those across the county that need them as that is what our local communities deserve and rightfully expect.”
Hugh Sherriffe, Barnardo’s Regional Director, added: “The outcome of the CQC inspection is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by staff who work tirelessly to support families in Essex. The needs of families lie at the heart of the service and this is something we strive hard to achieve and are incredibly proud of.
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