Hull Safeguarding Children Board mentoring

January 2012

Mentors from Making the Link are supporting the HSCB partnership to develop a business case for future investment in activities to reduce unintentional injuries among children and young people.

Developing a business case for child accident prevention

Neil Colthup is Safeguarding Children Board Manager for Hull Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB), which has a strong history of partnership working on accident prevention. Mentors from Making the Link are supporting the HSCB partnership to develop a business case for future investment in activities to reduce unintentional injuries among children and young people.

HSCB takes a broad approach to safeguarding and set up a workstream on the prevention of accidents in 2006. The workstream group reports to the safeguarding board. The group works with a large number of organisations who have a role to play in preventing unintentional injuries among children and young people, including health services, the fire and rescue service, road safety, schools, children’s centres and Network Rail. It also receives and responds to information from the Child Death overview panel.

Around 62,000 children and young people aged 0-19 years live in Hull, with around a third living in poverty. The level of emergency admissions to hospital resulting from accidental injuries among children and young people is higher than both the national rate and the rates found in comparable parts of the country.

Where they are now

Putting a strategy into action

HSCB’s accident prevention strategy for 2010-13 sets out a target of reducing the rate of emergency hospital admissions from unintentional and deliberate injuries to under-18s by 3.5% year on year until the strategic review. In 2009/10, falls were the leading cause of emergency admissions from unintentional and deliberate injuries among this age group, with 345 admissions.

The strategy encompasses a wide range of initiatives that are designed to reduce unintentional injuries among children and young people in the city. They include education-based activities such as the Injury Minimization Programme for Schools; awareness-raising work such as the Infant Safe Sleeping Campaign; a home safety scheme that is delivered through Children’s Centres; and seasonal campaigns around things like Christmas and trampolining.

Aims for the future

Creating a business case

The prevention of accidents group is now focusing on creating a business case for investment in child accident prevention programmes and activities. “Over the last few years we’ve had a small budget to spend on activities that tackle particular safety issues – this is how we funded our co-sleeping awareness campaign as well as other work on stairgates and non-slip socks. But we can’t guarantee this budget will always be there - we need to be able to convince budget-holders that accident prevention is a smart investment,” explains Neil.

“The business case will demonstrate the impact of investment in accident prevention work, in terms of the number of injuries prevented and the associated savings. A lot of this is about cost savings for health and social care, but we’ll also be taking into account things like school attendance, parental absence from work and the long-term impact on families.”

Filling in the data gaps

The prevention of accidents group will also explore ways to improve the availability of data on local needs, to help them design well-targeted prevention programmes and get the most from every campaign. At the moment, data collection focuses on hospital admissions, but the team would like to find out more about injuries which require a trip to hospital but don’t result in an admission.

“Hospital attendances only give us part of the information we need to inform our prevention work,” says Neil. “Every child who goes to A&E or a minor injuries unit with an accidental injury could be seen as a ‘near miss’ admission. We need to know about the causes of these less serious injuries and where they’re occurring in order to see the full picture.”

The workstream group will dedicate one of its upcoming meetings to questions surrounding data, with the aim of developing a plan for how they can fill in the gaps that currently exist.

How mentoring support will help

Making the case for investment

The main area of focus for the mentoring partnership with Making the Link will be on supporting the prevention of accidents workstream group to develop their business case. “Preparing a business case is a chance for the group to really examine the data and evidence, and build a compelling argument for future investment,” says Ian Evans, Head of Education and Engagement at CAPT. “We’ll be helping to compile evidence on impact and effectiveness, and identifying sources of data about the treatment costs for accidental injuries, as well as the financial implications for areas such as education, employment and emotional wellbeing.”

Knowledge and links

Neil says that CAPT’s knowledge of injury prevention strategies and activities throughout England will be of great value to the prevention of accidents group. “When a safety issue emerges, we want to be in the best possible position to respond to it quickly and effectively. Our mentors can share information with us about programmes that have been successful in other parts of the country, to help us maximise the chances of a good outcome from our own work. At the same time, they’ll be learning more about the work we do in Hull, which we hope will benefit other practitioners in the future.”

CAPT will also be advising the group about ways to link their accident prevention strategy with local and national strategies in related areas. “There’s lots of scope to build links with wider strategies in Hull,” comments Ian Evans. “Child poverty is a key one, but there are also opportunities to connect with strategies to promote physical activity among children and young people, as well as areas that link into the fire safety agenda, such as tobacco control.”

Further information

For more information about child accident prevention in Hull, please contact Neil Colthup on neil.colthup@hullcc.gov.uk

Related links

Updated February 2014