Quality statement 3: Structured home safety assessment

Quality statement

Households in which children and young people (under 15) have been identified as being at greater risk of unintentional injury in the home have a structured home safety assessment.

Rationale

A structured home safety assessment for households in which children and young people (under 15) have been identified as being at greater risk of unintentional injury in the home can identify specific risks of injuries (including burns, falls, poisoning, drowning, suffocation and choking), leading to action to reduce the risks identified by the assessment.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements for households in which children and young people (under 15) have been identified as being at greater risk of unintentional injury in the home to have a structured home safety assessment.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of households in which children and young people (under 15) have been identified as being at greater risk of unintentional injury in the home that have a structured home safety assessment.

Numerator – the number in the denominator that have a structured home safety assessment.

Denominator – the number of households in which children and young people (under 15) have been identified as being at greater risk of unintentional injury in the home.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, health, public health and social care practitioners, and commissioners

Service providers (such as local authority children's social services and NHS organisations) ensure that systems are in place for households in which children and young people (under 15) have been identified as being at greater risk of unintentional injury in the home to have a structured home safety assessment. This responsibility can be delivered through the work of a person responsible for coordinating action to prevent unintentional injuries in children and young people.

Home safety assessors (employed specifically to undertake this role or as part of a wider role) carry out structured home safety assessments for households in which children and young people (under 15) have been identified as being at greater risk of unintentional injury in the home.

Commissioners (such as local authorities and clinical commissioning groups) ensure that they commission services in which households in which children and young people (under 15) have been identified as being at greater risk of unintentional injury in the home have a structured home safety assessment.

What the quality statement means for the public

Households with children and young people (under 15) who are at greater risk of having an accident in the home have an assessment of the safety risks in their home, which should help to reduce the chance of accidents. This is particularly relevant to children under 5 because they tend to have more accidents at home.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Home

This term covers the dwelling where children and young people (under 15) live, the garden or yard, communal areas of flats, as well as other family homes where they visit or stay.

[Expert opinion]

Structured home safety assessment

Structured home safety assessments are carried out by trained assessors. The assessors may be employed specifically to undertake this role or as part of a wider role. The structured home safety assessment involves assessing the risk of the most common causes of unintentional injuries to children and young people (including burns, falls, poisoning, drowning, suffocation and choking) in each room.

The assessment should be tailored to meet the household's specific needs and circumstances, and its purpose should be thoroughly and clearly explained to members of the household. Factors to take into account include (not in a priority order):

  • the developmental age of children and young people

  • whether a child or family member has a disability

  • cultural and religious beliefs

  • whether there is limited understanding of English language

  • levels of literacy in the household

  • the level of control people have over their home environment

  • the household's perception of, and degree of trust in, authority

  • living in a property where there is a lack of appropriately installed safety equipment

  • living in a property where hazards have been identified through the Housing Health and Safety Rating System

  • the size of the family

  • families living on low income

  • overcrowded conditions

  • the complexity of the family's needs.

[Adapted from Unintentional injuries in the home: interventions for under 15s (NICE guideline PH30), recommendation 3, and expert opinion]

Equality and diversity considerations

The purpose of a structured home safety assessment, and information or advice about the identified risks of unintentional injury to children and young people, should be communicated to members of the household in a way that is easily understood. This may include providing information in a written or verbal form. When information is communicated, services should be aware of the needs of members of households for whom English is not the first language or if those receiving the information have difficulty understanding it for any other reason. For example, assessors should be aware of the needs of a household in which the primary care giver has health or complex needs that may affect their ability to provide adequate supervision to children and young people or fully understand the information provided.