Wandsworth mentoring

April 2012

First steps towards a joined-up accident prevention strategy

In January 2012, NHS Wandsworth and Wandsworth Council took their first steps towards creating a local strategy for reducing unintentional injuries among 0-19 year olds - and mentors from Making the Link will be supporting them throughout the project.

One of the individuals leading the work is Gabriel Agboado, Public Health Principal at NHS Wandsworth. He explains how the project came about: “Injury prevention has always been a key area of responsibility for public health, but we’ve never had an overarching strategy for child injury prevention before. Recent developments in the policy environment – the NICE guidelines on reducing unintentional injuries in under 15s and the Public Health Outcomes Framework indicator on hospital admissions from injuries in under 18s – have created a strong backdrop for this work.”

Where they are now

Recent child injury prevention activities that have taken place in Wandsworth include a home safety equipment scheme and the Wandsworth Junior Citizen safety education programme, which is run by Wandsworth Council and supported by partners from across the health, public and not-for-profit sectors.

The Wandsworth team knows that sound data and evidence on local needs will be vital to the development of their strategy. “We’re starting from a point of limited knowledge in this area, but we’ve already started collating baseline data on emergency hospital attendances and Office of National Statistics figures on accidental deaths,” says Gabriel.

Aims for the future

The team intends to launch a multi-agency child safety strategy group during 2012. They’re planning a range of activities to engage local stakeholders and create interest in the strategy group, culminating in a child safety conference for Wandsworth.

“We want the strategy group to include representatives from a very wide range of local organisations and services,” comments Gabriel. “We’d like everyone who has a stake in child accident prevention to be involved in some capacity, from housing and highways to community safety, leisure and children’s services.”

The team’s overall aim is to have an unintentional injury prevention strategy for 0-19 year olds and supporting action plan which will link in with relevant local, London-wide and national strategies on public health and child safety.

Wandsworth Councillor Angela Graham, who is chairman of the borough’s Junior Citizen scheme, welcomes this joined-up approach to preventing childhood accidents. She comments: “The council working with public health on an important issue such as childhood accidents is an exciting development and I fully support it.”

How mentoring support will help

Mentors from Making the Link will support Wandsworth throughout the process of establishing a strategy group and developing the unintentional injury prevention strategy and action plan.

In the early stages of the project the mentoring will focus on guiding the team through a range of assessment and auditing processes, including the NICE self-assessment tool. The information gathered through this process will form the foundations of an effective strategy.

Ian Evans, Head of Education and Engagement at CAPT, explains: “A successful strategy must be based on a solid understanding of local needs, current activities and stakeholder roles. We’re helping the Wandsworth team to identify data sources, map current activities and understand the roles and responsibilities of local stakeholders in accident prevention. Once this baseline assessment has been completed, we can move on to identifying where the gaps are and what can be done to fill them.”

Further information

For more information about child injury prevention in Wandsworth, please contact Gabriel Agboado on gabriel.agboado@wpct.nhs.uk

April 2012

Updated February 2014