Children and vulnerable families

Deep End Report 3 summarised an early roundtable discussion on children and vulnerable families.

REPORT 3 The GP role in working with vulnerable families (Jan 2010)
Summary | Full report

This was followed by a conference, reported in Deep End Report 12, involving a wide range of health professionals involved in caring for children.

REPORT 12 Working together for vulnerable children and families (Sept 2010)
Summary | Full report

Dr Anne Mullin gave oral evidence to a Holyrood Committee investigating the implications of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill and the Public Bodies (Joint Working)(Scotland) Bill at the Scottish Parliament on 04 September 2013, which was followed up by written evidence and a Deep End Report

Written evidence on Children and Young People and Public Bodies (Scot) Bills

Deep End Report 23 summarises the evidence submitted to the Scottish Government on the role of general practice in addressing the needs of children in very deprived areas.

REPORT 23 The contribution of general practice to improving the health of vulnerable children and families (Jun 2014)
Summary | Full report

The SHIP Project: an ecology of learning – 2015 onward

The Govan Integrated Care Project (SHIP) is a Scottish Government-funded project which has been developed from the ground up by several professional disciplines. One element which the project focuses on is the relationship between attached social workers and GPs and how to address unmet needs in vulnerable children and families. A monthly multidisciplinary team meeting, when caseloads of vulnerable children and families are discussed, is a key function of the SHIP approach in providing support, coordinating care and addressing unmet need.

The project is currently seeking funding for a trained Home Start counsellor to work with families who require intensive support to strengthen family function. This will fill the gap that cannot be met with current social work provision.

Children and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHs) is one aspect of the SHIP project which aims to improve links between GPs and mental health services. The development of the role of an attached MH worker who can liaise with CAMHs and 3rd sector agencies to improve support for children and adolescents is aligned with the aims of the revised MH strategy

The proposal is supported by funding from the Primary Care Transformation Fund.

There are new opportunities for collaborative working between education and health to address the poverty-related attainment gap. Education is expected to work closely with other partners including health and primary care. Govan SHIP are taking this opportunity to map out schools in the cluster area and will propose a joint working arrangement that will focus on learning from the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) agenda.

Lone Parents and Welfare Reform Sub group (March–November 2016)

Lone Parents, Welfare Reform and Health in Scotland: Report of the Lone Parents and Welfare Reform Sub-group of the Scottish Government’s Welfare Reform & Health Impact Delivery Group [no links available].

The Scottish Government Welfare Reform and Health Impact Delivery Group (HIDG) held a special meeting on child poverty and welfare reform and set up a short-life working group to take this forward and report back to the HIDG. This multidisciplinary group had representation from statutory and third sector agencies and the Deep End steering group (Dr Anne Mullin). The group met on four occasions and produced a summary document that was widely distributed. 

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES): establishment of an Adverse Childhood Experiences Advisory Group

A three nation multidisciplinary group that represents Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland includes GPs from the DE (Dr Anne Mullin, Dr Andrea Williamson).The implementation of a national action plan will be led and co-ordinated by NHS Health Scotland to reduce and prevent the negative impact of adverse childhood experiences. Championing a Scotland wide movement will increase understanding of the impact of ACEs on individuals, communities and services is relevant to many policy areas.

It will achieve this by:

  • identifying new opportunities to strengthen action on ACEs nationally and locally across health and partner organisations by informing policy, practice and research
  • considering the potential areas identified in the ScotPHN report ‘Polishing the diamonds’ to develop an action plan to support a broad public sector response to ACEs

The 3-Nation ACEs group has met in Scotland and Wales to discuss progress on using an ‘ACE lens’ to develop a multi-agency approach to identifying children and family vulnerability, a non-stigmatising approach to preventing ACEs and encouraging individual and community resilience to ACES. 

All three nations have slightly different approaches and funding priorities but the main goals are to ensure that every child has the best start in life, to promote the safety of children and young people and to include the voice of children and young people in all aspects of service delivery and planning.

The film ‘Resilience, The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope’ has been screened across Scotland to increase public and professional awareness of the impact of ACEs on enduring physical and mental health issues.

See also the summary of the following session held as part of the Day Release Programme for the GP Pioneer Scheme

Child protection in the Deep End (02 Aug 2017)

Child Healthcare in Scotland
Overcoming the Challenges to Equality (10 November 2017)

This conference was organised by Children’s Health Scotland 

The whole day event included speakers from a variety of disciplines including health, social care, education, the 3rd sector and the Scottish Youth Parliament. All the presentations are accessible on the charity’s website.
‘The aim of this Conference is to enable delegates to explore whether Scotland’s children and young people, regardless of background or circumstances, have equal access to best possible healthcare and to consider ways in which the challenges to achieving health care rights and equality might be met’

Dr Anne Mullin’s presentation (below) explored new ways of working in a Deep End practice supported by the Govan SHIP project. One aspect of the SHIP project prioritises the provision of holistic support to vulnerable children and families that is co-ordinated by the GP hub.

Levelling up: providing equitable GP care to children/young people in Scotland