General practice will be inspected on child protection procedures starting from this week.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will conduct a child protection inspection programme, focusing on the quality of the journey through services for a child.
The CQC will target 110 local authority areas, prioritizing those with the greatest risk.
A spokesperson said the risk had been determined by the latest inspection findings, information from serious case reviews, other inspectors, whistleblowers and safeguarding information.
He said: “In addition to checking safeguarding arrangements, inspectors will examine how children in the care of local authorities have their health needs met.”
The key points being examined are:
– Do health staff have the right training? – Are professionals making timely and accurate referrals to mental health and substance misuse services?
– Do acute services have alert systems to identify and track children considered to be at risk? – Do children in care have their health needs assessed and managed?
– Are services generally safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive to children’s needs?
Health visitors, school nurses, hospitals and mental health services will also be subject to the inspections.