Health care of CLA remains an issue in Harrow!

Following the concerns about the public health staffing in Harrow, another serious matter emerged is the quality of the health services for Children Looked After (CLA) by Harrow Council in accordance with its role of Corporate Parent.
The last inspection of health services for Harrow’s children in May 2012 of safeguarding and looked after children’s services found that the Being Healthy delivery for looked-after children was inadequate (failing category) and the May 2014 Review of Health Services for Children Looked After and Safeguarding in Harrow by Care Quality Commission found that the progress in delivering an improved service overall since the 2012 inspection is disappointingly slow.
Despite action plans and the existence and sittings of the Corporate Parenting Panel, the 2015 situation remains concerning:

  • Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) reported to Corporate Parenting Panel meeting on 7 July 2015 that the “timeliness of all health assessments has been an issue for several years which was impounded by the poor collation of data … one of the contributing factors was a failure by the Local Authority to complete the referral within the agreed timescales””
  • only 11% of new CLA have had a health check in the target timescale of 28 days
  • the Designated Nurse also reported that the “timeliness of health assessments had been poor””

Many think that the Corporate Parenting Panel is not really effective and waste of public money!
It is the responsibility of the Local Authority to ensure that health assessments are carried out for every looked after child or young person.
For children under the age of 5 years, the Review Health Assessments are carried out every 6 months – this again is challenging as the percentage age of under 1 yr old CLA in Harrow at 7.1% is much higher than in London and neighbours averages, 4.7% and 4.5% respectively.

Update: Corporate Director of Children and Families has responded but with no evidence that the arrangements and outcomes for CLA have improved!