Quality statement 5: Integrating home safety into other visits

Quality statement

Households with children and young people (under 15) receive advice on home safety or are referred for a structured home safety assessment by practitioners providing family support on home visits who identify risks of unintentional injury.

Rationale

Practitioners from various local agencies who provide family support on home visits can assess potential risks of unintentional injury to children and young people (under 15) when visiting households for other reasons. Considering risk during all household visits means that immediate advice can be given or further action can be arranged, including a referral for a structured home safety assessment.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that households with children and young people (under 15) receive advice on home safety or are referred for a structured home safety assessment by practitioners providing family support on home visits who identify risks of unintentional injury.

Data source: Local data collection (evidence of local arrangements may be collected from individual local authority departments, NHS organisations or social care providers whose staff undertake family support on home visits).

Process

a) Proportion of households with children and young people (under 15) that receive advice on home safety from practitioners providing family support on home visits who identify risks of unintentional injury.

Numerator – the number in the denominator that receive advice on home safety.

Denominator – the number of households with children and young people (under 15) in which risks of unintentional injury are identified by practitioners providing family support on home visits.

b) Proportion of households with children and young people (under 15) that are referred for a structured home safety assessment by practitioners providing family support on home visits who identify risks of unintentional injury.

Numerator – the number in the denominator that are referred for a structured home safety assessment.

Denominator – the number of households with children and young people (under 15) in which risks of unintentional injury are identified by practitioners providing family support on home visits.

Data source: Local data collection (information to support local audit against this measure may be more readily available in relation to home visits by certain types of practitioners, such as GPs, community nurses, midwives and health visitors).

Outcome

Number of referrals for structured home safety assessments in households with children and young people (under 15).

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, local education departments and NHS organisations) ensure that systems are in place so that households with children and young people (under 15) receive advice on home safety or are referred for a structured home safety assessment by practitioners providing family support on home visits who identify risks of unintentional injury.

Practitioners (such as social workers, health visitors, community nurses and midwives, and GPs) who provide family support on home visits give advice or refer for a structured home safety assessment if they identify risks of unintentional injury in households with children and young people (under 15).

Commissioners (such as local authorities and clinical commissioning groups) ensure that they commission services in which households with children and young people (under 15) receive advice on home safety or are referred for a structured home safety assessment by practitioners providing family support on home visits who identify risks of unintentional injury.

What the quality statement means for the public

Households with children and young people (under 15) are given advice or are referred for a detailed assessment of the safety risks in their home by health or care workers providing family support on home visits who identify risks of accidents in the home. This is particularly important for households with children under 5 because they tend to have more accidents in the home.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Structured home safety assessment

Structured home safety assessments are carried out by trained assessors and usually involve 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.