New approach to support Staffordshire’s most vulnerable families

A top priority is to ensure that our Staffordshire families are well supported and have the skills, ambitions and knowledge to ensure their children aged 0 to 5 years old are safe, healthy and school ready.

To achieve this we are working with our partners, the Health and Wellbeing Board, parents, communities and other organisations to develop a new approach that responds to the needs of these families. We want to put greater focus on ensuring those who are vulnerable receive the right help at the right time before problems escalate. We will also be looking at services delivered by other agencies to ensure that our families are able to access what they need, when and where they want it. With a new approach we will be better placed to face future challenges of increased demand and shrinking resources.

I was also pleased to read about our online directory for care workers, ‘Patchwork’, and how it has made its way across the world to children’s services in Australia. We developed this online tool a couple of years ago with Future Gov to help frontline staff identify other agencies and individuals who have been involved with a particular child or family. It has been praised for its ease of use and it’s encouraging to know that our innovative work is not only being recognised by other councils but by other countries.

There’s also some good news around employee sickness absence at the County Council which is below the national average for both public and private sectors.

Our latest report shows that the average number of days lost through sickness is 7.2 days per employee. Since December, this has fallen again to 7.06. This compares to 8.6 days nationally in the public sector and 7.7 nationally in the private sector.

Two years ago we introduced a package of measures to help reduce employee sickness and get our staff help at the earliest stage. Part of this included a pilot physiotherapy service offering immediate assessment and treatment for staff. The service also focuses on preventing problems from arising in the first place, giving employees the opportunity to request referrals at the first sign of any symptoms.

In addition to our physiotherapy pilot, over 1,000 managers received training and information on staff absence, with new reporting measures also being introduced which is helping to make a difference.

Comments are closed.