Meet the team
Director of Children's services, Social Work & Quality Improvement
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
- Northern Ireland
Director Postgraduate General Practice Education
The Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency
- Northern Ireland
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Social Work Quality Improvement Lead
South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust
- Northern Ireland
- Child protection experienced service user
- 2 part time improvement advisors to be recruited
- Catriona O Hare - admin
- Practice Manager
- Business Planner
What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?
The challenge of GP attendance at child protection case conferences is an issue of concern nationally. GPs must contribute to the safeguarding of children as a requirement of the GMC. A recent review carried out by the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association noted that the contribution by GP’s to safeguarding meetings of children deemed to be at risk falls short of the mandatory requirement. In N.I. recommendations regarding improving GP engagement in child protection processes were made by the Safeguarding Board of NI following practice based concerns about child welfare. Social workers and GPs have told us that traditional working arrangements inhibit information sharing and relationship building .Families tell us they are confused and frightened when their GP engages with social services. Adopting an ‘All teach, all learn’ approach we will build improvement capabilities across boundaries, establishing trusting relationships and improving child safety.
What does your project aim to achieve?
Our aim is to increase GP participation in child protection processes and case conferences initially in one Trust area, and then spreading across NI (and beyond). Using a QI approach, a prototype has been developed with one GP practice , which has focused on building relationships and trust across boundaries, reviewing and streamlining processes for sharing complex information, provision of local safeguarding and QI training and reviewing arrangements for child protection meetings which enable enhanced GP attendance.Using this approach has increased GP attendance at conferences in one practice from 2 to 14.
Improvements will contribute to ensuring the safety and enhancing wellbeing of children at risk. This will be measured through
- GP attendances at case conferences
- Increased information provided by GP practice to child protection processes
- GP data base accuracy following child protection decisions
- Improved communication between SW and GP practice
- Improved GP & SW knowledge of QI
How will the project be delivered?
This improvement initiative was endorsed for prototype testing by HSCQI – the NI approach to improvement. A project management structure was established in July 2018 ; this will continue to have a coordination role , reporting to HSCQI and Directors of SW. The project leads are experienced quality improvement practitioners working within social work and primary care – all participants are Q members. The prototype developed in one GP practice will now be tested in two further practices as agreed by the respective GPs . This will commence with GP trainees and service user undertaking an initial scoping exercise to co design the approach. Local social work teams will be engaged with GP practices to develop a shared approach to improvement and build relationships across boundaries. QI and safeguarding training will be provided to create opportunites to test new ideas collectively.Risks are minimised due to high level support; to be reviewed monthly by the project management team.
What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?
The challenge of GP engagement in child protection is a national issue. Through iterative testing,this approach will explore the factors that improve GP participation in child protection and influence change in the way in which GPs are engaged by local Trusts. The approach will use appreciative enquiry to understand the change making process and will make progress visible through GP Federations, communications and events,shared learning opportunities and though regular reporting at HSCQI events/website and the Q Community. During the development of this idea,we have connected with other Q members who are keen to influence and extend the spread of the initiative – we will work with them to build a community across social work and primary care in NI – making visible our measurements and progress as we work within individual practices and social work teams. We will engage SW and GP trainees to work together developing a shared story to present in universities and teach others.
How you can contribute
- We are keen to hear of any initiatives across the UK who have made improvements in this area of practice.
- Any ideas/existing approaches to sharing and learning together across Trusts and primary care.
|20 Sep 2019||Project steering group|
|4 Nov 2019||formal updates to stakeholders on progress of work|
|20 Nov 2019||Agree release of 2 PT Improvment Advisors|
|21 Nov 2019||Meet with Gp practice 2 and 3 - confirm timescales|
|1 Dec 2019||scoping excercise with 2 GP practice and social work teams|
|3 Feb 2020||Agree basline data - provide QI and safeguarding training|
|13 Feb 2020||Implement testing/PDSA for improvement|
|9 Mar 2020||Monthly cordination meeting reviewing tests of change|
|1 Sep 2020||Review progress and move to addtional GP practices|