Haringey child service bosses must listen to their staff
I would like to thank Lynne Featherstone for her unfailing support over the past 18 months. She knows that when I went to see her (terrified at the consequences) it was because of a real concern that children s services in Haringey could not improve until
I would like to thank Lynne Featherstone for her unfailing support over the past 18 months. She knows that when I went to see her (terrified at the consequences) it was because of a real concern that children's services in Haringey could not improve until the frontline staff are supported and listened to.
It was only her determination that got NHS London to investigate my concerns. As we now know, they have confirmed that the workload for the consultants was excessive in 2007. They also confirm that the concerns raised by the consultants were valid and that left unaddressed this "could have impacted upon patient safety" which it clearly did.
To managers within Haringey children's services I would say, do not be afraid to listen to your staff. They are out there on a daily basis. They see what is going on.
By listening to and supporting your staff not only will you reduce the risks of other sad cases taking place, but also have a happier and more sustainable workforce. We knew that the cuts to the service were going to cause problems as has been clearly documented. It wasn't good enough to leave staff in a situation that is unsafe for children.
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This whole process has been painful for everyone involved.
I do not know why I have been unable to return to my job. The report has shown that I could have expected to. It seemed very strange to me that given the lack of resources, I was being kept at home on full pay. I now hope that the organisations involved will have realised that their workforce is crucial in order to provide these services. Let's make Haringey Children's services the envy of other boroughs.
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Dr Kim Holt
Consultant Paediatrician of Community Child Health