NHS Salford mentoring

January 2012

A rapid review of child injury prevention

Eejay Whitehead is Senior Public Health Manager for children and young people at NHS Salford. With support from mentors at Making the Link, Eejay is laying the foundations for a more co-ordinated approach to unintentional injury prevention, starting with a rapid review of local data, current activities and awareness amongst parents.

Soon after joining NHS Salford in August 2010, Eejay began a strategic review of the health and well-being needs of children and young people in the city. One of the findings of the review was the need for a more co-ordinated approach to work tackling unintentional injuries among children, beyond the work being undertaken around road safety by the Road Safety Partnership. Eejay took on responsibility for this task and linked with Salford Safeguarding Children Board to set up a multi-agency group to take the work forward.

Where they are now

Task and finish group

Eejay is leading a ‘task and finish’ group to complete a rapid review of unintentional injury prevention for children in Salford. The group is a sub-group of the Salford Safeguarding Children Board Executive and includes safeguarding representatives as well as members from Salford Royal Hospital Trust, the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, the Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, Children’s Services, the Integrated Youth Support Service, health visiting and school nursing teams, the Starting Life Well Service, Environmental Services, the Health Improvement Service, the voluntary sector and the local leisure trust.

The aims of the review are to understand local needs, current activities, gaps, and links to wider strategies and programmes. “We’ve set a time limit of six months for the rapid review and I think this is a good length of time to ask people to commit to initially,” explains Eejay. “I hope that at the end of the review process we’ll be well on the way to creating a shared vision for unintentional injury prevention and that everyone will be keen to stay involved in the partnership.”

Aims for the future

Building a local picture

During the course of the rapid review, the team will work with the public health intelligence team to gather data on unintentional injuries among children in Salford. They’ll look at data on hospital admissions and A&E attendances, as well as information on fires and road traffic accidents. Eejay says: “We know there are limitations with the data that we currently have available, but we intend to build the best picture we can of local needs for injury prevention. The exercise will help us to identify ways in which we could improve the availability of data in the future.”

Alongside looking at local data, the team will gather information about current activities and skills around unintentional injury prevention. This exercise will collate details of programmes ranging from safe sleeping advice provided by health visitors, to the fire service’s Firefly fire safety course for 13-17 year olds. The second part of the audit will focus on the training that staff in different organisations have received on accident prevention, including skills such as car seat fitting and cycling instruction.

“Pulling together details of accident prevention programmes and activities being run by different organisations in the city will show us where we are already meeting needs well and if there are any overlaps or gaps,” explains Eejay. “For the first time, we’ll have all of this information in one place. I think this will be an important step towards joined-up working.”

Understanding the wider context

As well as looking closely at what’s currently happening in Salford, the team aims to build an understanding of the wider context for child accident prevention. They will conduct a thorough examination of evidence about what works in unintentional injury prevention, looking at information available both locally and nationally.

They will also identify the local and national strategies that their work needs to link to. This could include local guidance on topics such as child poverty and healthy lifestyles, as well as national policies such as the NICE guidance on reducing unintentional injuries among under-15s and the Healthy Lives, Healthy People strategy for public health in England.

Consulting with parents

The rapid review process will include a consultation exercise to gather the views of local parents. Questions will explore areas including how parents define and identify risk and what kinds of accidents they perceive as being preventable. The consultation also aims to discover what methods of prevention parents currently use - such as home safety equipment, supervision and safety education - and how effective they think they are.

“We’re working to very short timescales on the rapid review, so the consultation is a snapshot of what is currently going on,” says Eejay. “The council’s Health Improvement Service runs a wide range of individual and group projects in the community, so we plan to work with them to get our questionnaires out to parents.”

To complement this consultation exercise, the team will also conduct a review of local newspapers. The newspaper review is designed to provide insights into the messages that parents pick up from reading stories about child safety issues.

How mentoring support will help

Sharing expertise

The mentoring support from Making the Link will initially focus on supporting the task and finish group with the evidence review and mapping the wider links to local and national strategies and policies. “The group has good representation from a wide range of organisations, which puts them in a strong position to bring together local data and information on current activities,” says Ian Evans, Head of Education and Engagement at CAPT.

“We’ll be helping them to take a critical look at the information they gather on local needs and activities. We’ll be sharing what we know about successful approaches taken in other areas of the country, such as joining up a range of programmes into a coherent life-course model, as well as how to effectively link local and national agendas.”

Developing an action plan

Towards the end of the review, Making the Link will support the team with the development of proposals for continuing their work on child injury prevention. “We’ll be looking for guidance on how to put together an effective action plan and how to make sure that any goals we set will be realistic and achievable,” comments Eejay. “We’re already looking forward to continuing the mentoring partnership beyond the six months of the rapid review, as we start to embed a co-ordinated approach to child unintentional injury prevention.”

Further information

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

Updated February 2014