Learning nuggets from NHS Salford

June 2012

Eejay Whitehead, Senior Public Health Manager for children and young people at NHS Salford, tells us how support from mentors at Making the Link helped her to produce an unintentional injury needs assessment for children and young people.

Our January 2012 case study outlined how Eejay established and chaired a ‘task and finish’ group to complete a rapid review of unintentional injury prevention for children in Salford. The six-month long review process involved a very broad range of partners who wanted to develop a better understanding of local childhood injury prevention needs, current activities, gaps, and links to wider strategies and programmes.

Eejay has now produced a needs assessment report which has been endorsed by the Salford Safeguarding Children Board executive group and Salford’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment executive group, as well as Salford Children and Young People’s Trust Board. It has also been shared with the local Community Safety Partnership, who Eejay will present to later in 2012.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • improving the co-ordination of local unintentional injury prevention work for children and young people
  • training frontline staff to raise the profile of unintentional injuries and incorporate prevention into their work
  • continuing to build links with existing and emerging partnerships
  • working towards more robust local data on unintentional injuries, particularly for A&E attendances. 

Eejay’s next step is to develop an action plan based on the recommendations in the needs assessment report.

Ready access to knowledge and expertise

Making the Link supported Eejay by highlighting sources of information and data to feed into the evidence gathering stage of the rapid review. “When you’re looking for evidence to support your work on unintentional injuries, a lot of the time you know that the information you want is out there somewhere – but that it could take you a long time to find it. It was great to be able to drop our mentors an email outlining what I needed and then quickly get a reply with links to places I could look,” explains Eejay.

“One of the areas I sought help with was evidence relating to health inequalities, including information around children with disabilities and the links between ethnicity and unintentional injuries. I’d say that having ready access to people who really understood these issues and knew where to find different kinds of information saved me a lot of time.”

Acting as a critical friend

Eejay shared draft versions of each section of the needs assessment report with the steering group, to gather feedback and suggestions. “It was really useful to get regular input from our mentors, as they were able to bring in a different perspective to everyone else – more of a national perspective to complement the local focus of the other members. They were able to point out places where we needed to reflect a shift in government policy or where we could mention related strategies or initiatives.”

Involvement from start to finish

Making the Link mentors were involved in the rapid review from start to finish and attended regular steering group meetings in Salford. “Working together over the six months meant that when it came to reviewing the final version of our report, our mentors weren’t just looking at the report in isolation. Because they’d been through the development process with us, they understood how we had come to certain conclusions and why we included the things we did.”

Further information

For more information about child injury prevention in Salford, please contact Eejay Whitehead on eejay.whitehead@salford.gov.uk

Updated February 2014