Doncaster children in self harm crisis

Mrs McCready worked at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Mrs McCready worked at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Concerns have been raised about the number of children in Doncaster being taken to hospital after self-harming.

The issue is raised in an document due to discussed by Doncaster councillors tomorrow, which also says action is being taken to try to deal with the problem.

Mrs McCready worked at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Mrs McCready worked at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

The Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board describes its concerns in its annual report, which goes before Doncaster Council’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

It states: “The DSCB Performance Report highlighted the high number of children and young people admitted to hospital for self-ham and attempted suicide.

“This was also noted in the Ofsted review.

“As a result a performance challenge session focusing on young people’s mental health has been held.

“The findings from this challenge will be presented at the DSCB Learning and Improvement group where actions arising from it will be monitored. The provider of children and adolescent mental health services, RDASH, will be looking to develop a self-harm pathway as part of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Local Transformation Plan.

“The Board will review the impact of the new commissioning arrangements in respect of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to ensure they meet young people’s needs.

“The Learning and Improvement subgroup appropriately looks at a wide range of material including serious case reviews, audits and performance data.”

The trust was unable to provide specific figures as we went to press.

The report also describes the number of children subject to child protection plans in Doncaster as high, and says that it is due to the a strong approach by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust to ensure children are appropriately safeguarded.

In July 2015, 305 children and young people were the subject of a child protection plan. The number continued to rise until to December 2015 when it reached a high of 441.

Since the peak in December 2015, numbers have started to decline and are now at 401, which is still higher than the same point last year.

The rate of children subject to a protection plan is 62 per 10,000 children, compared to a national figure of 43.

The report states numbers of children who are looked after remain high but at a comparable level to other geographical areas.

Domestic abuse continues to be a concern, warns the report, with high levels of domestic abuse being recorded by in Doncaster Children’s Services Trust children and family assessments.

The safeguarding board was rated as ‘requires improvement’ when inspected in October 2015, which was an improvement from its previous rating, from 2012, when the board was assessed as inadequate.

Officials at the trust say the board has made rapid progress in responding to Ofsted’s recommendations for further improvement, and is well positioned to implement the Government’s proposals following a review of

Local Safeguarding Children Boards.

The board’s independent chairman, John Harris, said: “The past 12 months has seen significant improvement in safeguarding in Doncaster. Partner agencies are working together more effectively and with increasing confidence. DSCB is now meeting its statutory responsibilities and providing authoritative leadership of the safeguarding agenda in Doncaster.”