Working together to safeguard children

Revised statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  It sets out new legal requirements for local police, councils and health services who will be required to make joint safeguarding decisions | Department for Education


Children at risk of abuse or neglect will now be protected through improved partnerships between local police, councils and health services.

Strengthened guidance published by the Department for Education sets new legal requirements for the three safeguarding partners, who will be required to make joint safeguarding decisions to meet the needs of local children and families.

Senior police, council and health leaders will jointly be responsible for setting out local plans to keep children safe and will be accountable for how well agencies work together to protect children from abuse and neglect.

The new advice is aimed at all professionals who come in to contact with children and families and includes guidance on current threats to child protection, such as sexual and criminal exploitation, gangs and radicalisation.

Full detail: The Department of Education | Working together to safeguard children

Additional link: Press release

Reproductive health and pregnancy planning

A resource focusing on reproductive choice and ensuring that pregnancy, if desired, occurs at the right time and when health is optimised | Public Health England

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This resource for professionals working with women and men that may have children in the future focuses on reproductive choice and ensuring that pregnancy, if desired, occurs at the right time and when health is optimised. Effective contraception and planning for pregnancy mean that women and men stay healthy throughout life and take steps to improve the health of the baby.

The Fifteen steps for Maternity Quality

NHS England|Fifteen steps for Maternity Quality from the perspective of people who use maternity services| May 2018

Fifteen steps for Maternity Quality from the perspective of people who use maternity service, is part of a suite of toolkits for The Fifteen Steps Challenge, which help to explore the experience of people who use maternity services and are a way of involving them in quality assurance processes.

Fifteen steps for Maternity
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This toolkit has been developed with Maternity Voice Partnerships (MVPs) in mind. MVPs are local teams of users/user reps, midwives, doctors and commissioners,
working together to review, co-design and co-produce local maternity services.
There are usually a number of MVPs per Local Maternity System (LMS). This toolkit is easy to use and aligns with NHS priorities for maternity care as outlined in the Better Births report published in 2016. This toolkit supports collaborative working between
all those involved in using, reviewing, designing and delivering maternity services, so that together improvements can be identified and implemented (Source: NHS England).

The report is available from NHS England 


A guide to support maternity champions

NHS Improvement have published this guide to support maternity safety champions at every levels (fron line, trust board and regional).  It outlines the role descriptions and responsibilities for maternity safety champions,  suggests activities to promote best practice, and also signposts existing safety initiatives and improvements that can offer support. The full guide is available from NHS Improvement here .

maternity guide
Image source: NHS Improvement 



Group B streptococcal disease guideline

Group B Streptococcal Disease, Early-onset (Green-top Guideline No 36) | The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 

Group B Streptococcal Disease (GBS) is recognised as the most frequent cause of severe early-onset infection in newborn infants. GBS is present in the bowel flora of 20–40% of adults (colonisation) and those who are colonised are called ‘carriers’. This includes pregnant women. There is variation in practice across the UK regarding the best strategies to prevent EOGBS disease.

In 2015, the incidence of EOGBS in the UK and Ireland was 0.57/1000 births (517 cases), a significant increase from the previous surveillance undertaken in 2000 where an incidence of 0.48/1000 was recorded.

The purpose of this guideline is to provide guidance for obstetricians, midwives and neonatologists on the prevention of early-onset (less than 7 days of age) neonatal group B streptococcal (EOGBS) disease and the information to be provided to women, their partners and families.

Group B Streptococcal Disease, Early-onset (Green-top Guideline No 36)

The State of Child Health: Community paediatric workforce

New report, published the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the British Association for Community Child Health (BACCH), highlights an alarming 25% shortfall in the number of community paediatricians.

The report raises concerns over the system failing to cope with growing demand and the unprecedented pressures faced by specialist community children’s doctors, who have a wide remit from child protection to managing children with disabilities and diagnosing those with conditions such as autism and ADHD.

The report makes a number of recommendations to turn the situation around. This includes an increase of 25% in the number of community paediatricians, equivalent to 320 more doctors, to meet recommended levels and reduce waiting times. It also provides extensive guidance and clear specifications for commissioners, clinicians and health care organisations, all with the aim of providing a high quality of care.

Download the State of Child Health: Community paediatric workforce

Read more about the RCPCH State of Child Health series

Fever in under 5s: assessment and initial management

New NICE guidance

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This guideline was updated in August 2017. It covers the assessment and early management of fever with no obvious cause in children aged under 5. It aims to improve clinical assessment and help healthcare professionals diagnose serious illness among young children who present with fever in primary and secondary care.

Read full Clinical guideline [CG160] here