UK Family Law Reform

Free information index

----- Original Message -----
From: Sharon.Beattie@hscni.net
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:06 AM
Subject: Our Ref:03.14/79MB

Mr Mortimer

Our letter dated the 18th April outlines that we do not hold information in relation to child abuse perpetrators and nor are we under the control of a local authority. Our previous letter of the 20th February outlined where you can obtain this information. I am sorry that we cannot help you any further in relation to these matters.

Regards

Sharon Beattie

Director of Operations, SBNI

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: Patricia.Cuthel@hscni.net
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2014 7:31 PM
Subject: Re: OBO Sharon Beattie

Dear Sharon Beattie,

Please will you kindly confirm if you are aware there is no legislation or regulations which specifically requires local authorities to collect & hold information on child abuse perpetrators or for them to use that information to formulate their child protection policies. Nor is this information available for Government to use that information to formulate their child protection policies.

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: Patricia.Cuthel@hscni.net
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:45 PM
Subject: OBO Sharon Beattie

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Ref: Freedom of Information Request No 05.03.14/DM

Thank you for your request for information which was received by email on 21st March 2014. Your request has been processed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In relation to your first question, I can confirm that the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland is not required to hold information on child abuse perpetrators.

In regard to your second question, the child protection policies have not been devised or belong to Margaret Burke. The information as to whom the child protection policies and procedures are designed to protect are outlined in the Area Child Protection Committee, Regional Child Protection Policy and Procedures which can be accessed by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety website, the link is: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/acpcregionalstrategy.pdf

Yours sincerely

Sharon Beattie

Director of Operations

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: Patricia.Cuthel@hscni.net
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:22 PM
Subject: Re: OBO Margaret Burke

Dear Patricia Cuthel,

Please will you kindly tell me (A) what information the legislation & regulations require the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland to collect & hold on child abuse perpetrators & (B) who Margaret Burke's child protection policies are designed to protect children from if they are not based on this information?

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: Patricia.Cuthel@hscni.net
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:08 PM
Subject: OBO Margaret Burke

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Ref: Freedom of Information Request 03.02.14/DM

Thank you for your request for information which was received by email on 21st February 2014. Your request has been processed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I can confirm that the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland does not hold the information you requested.

To try and offer some assistance in respect of your request I have been liaising with the Department of Health and Social Services and Public Services Northern Ireland (DHSSPSNI) who I understand may hold the information. I would therefore suggest that you contact the DHSSPSNI regarding your request. They can be accessed at http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/index/foi/foi-find.htm by emailing Email: FOI@dhsspsni.gov.uk or by Tel: 028 90 522353.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Burke

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
To: Patricia.Cuthel@hscni.net
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 5:29 PM
Subject: Re: Letter from Margaret Burke

Dear Margaret Burke,

Please will you kindly tell me when the last statutory departmental committee meeting was held which advised Mr. Edwin Poots on the formulation of child protection policies & what advise was he given & how has the statutory departmental committee scrutinised the work of Mr. Poots since?

Best regards Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: Patricia.Cuthel@hscni.net
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 4:29 PM
Subject: Letter from Margaret Burke

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Ref: Freedom of Information Request No.02.01.14DM

Further to your request for information which was received by email on 28th January 2014, please find information set out below. Your request has been processed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In order to respond to your request, it might be helpful to explain how Services for children are organised in Northern Ireland and the role of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland as this is different from how Services are structured within England and Wales.

Within Northern Ireland there is a devolved system of Government, the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Political Parties elected to the Assembly choose Ministerial portfolios and select Ministers in proportion to their party strength. Statutory Departmental Committees are established to advise and assist each Minister in the formulation of policy for his/her Department and to scrutinise the work of that Department. In relation to statutory child protection how each portfolio is structured depends on the portfolio. For example in relation to Policing, operationally Policing is provided by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the PSNI is accountable to the Policing Board and to the Department of Justice and Minister of Justice Mr David Ford.

In relation to Health and Social Care, Mr Edwin Poots is the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. The Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee advices and assists the Minister on matters within his responsibility.

The Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) is the Department with primary responsibility to support the Minister and the wider machinery of government in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities for health, social care and public safety.

The Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety undertakes a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the DHSSPS and plays a key role in the consideration and development of legislation.

The Department itself does not provide services directly to the public. Its role is to exercise strategic direction over the whole health, social services and public safety system by way of policy, legislation, strategy, standards and guidelines governing the services that are delivered for the most part by arm’s length bodies.

The Department is responsible for holding these arm’s length bodies to account for the manner in which they govern themselves and the extent to which they deliver on ministerial priorities. In terms of service commissioning of statutory child protection services, the Department discharges this duty primarily by delegating the exercise of its statutory functions to the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and for provision, to 5 Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCTs).

The HSCB is responsible for commissioning services, resource management and performance management and service improvement. The 5 HSCTS provide integrated health and social care services across Northern Ireland. They are responsible for exercising certain statutory functions on behalf of the HSCB which are delegated to them by the DHSSPS. Each HSC Trust also has a statutory obligation to put and keep in place arrangements for monitoring and improving the quality of health and social care which it provides.

Both the HSCB and the 5 HSCTs are ultimately accountable to the Department for the discharge of the functions set out in their founding legislation. All these bodies are accountable to the Department which in turn is accountable, through the Minister, to the Assembly for the manner in which this duty is performed.

The DHSSPS therefore sets the strategic vision and priorities and sets the policy and legislative context for health and social care in Northern Ireland. It also determines the standards and targets by which quality, access and outcomes should be measured and provides the strategic direction for the health and social care professions. The commissioning process is led by the HSCB, which translates the agenda set by the Department into a comprehensive, integrated commissioning plan for health and social care services. The HSCB is responsible for the collection of all routine information from HSC Trusts for performance monitoring or statistical publication purposes at agreed intervals and to agreed standards, and for providing this to the Department.

Trusts are responsible in law for the discharge of all relevant functions delegated to them, they are also accountable to Boards and to the Department for the proper discharge of those relevant functions delegated to them. There is therefore a clear line of accountability from provider Trusts, through commissioning Board to the Department.

Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI)

The Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) is an independent statutory body established under the Safeguarding Board Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, to co-ordinate and ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each person or body represented on the Board for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The SBNI is chaired by an Independent Chair. The SBNI is not an operational body in terms of investigating child abuse and neglect, which is undertaken by the PSNI and the 5 HSCTs mentioned above.

In the context of the above I will comment on each of your queries:

the council authority, council officer and the name of that officer, who decides on what information on child neglect and abuse is collected & held by your council;

Unlike England and Wales Services to children are not provided by Councils. Information in respect of child abuse and neglect is set down in legislation, the Children (NI) Order 1995, and is dictated ultimately by the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Health, Mr Poots and his Department the DHSSPS. The commissioning body, the HSCB monitors this information provided by the providers of services, the 5 HSCTs. Each person with ultimate responsibility is each of the Chief Executives of the HSCTs.

the means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

Each HSCT is responsible for the discharge all relevant functions delegated to them. They are also held accountable to HSCB and to the Department for the proper discharge of those relevant functions delegated to them, and then ultimately to the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety and to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Trusts are required to describe how they will deliver services in an efficient manner. Their performance and expenditure are monitored by the Board and the Department. Trusts are also responsible for evidencing compliance through their monitoring and reporting arrangements to the HSCB. Trusts must create sound organisational arrangements to ensure that professional practice and that there is clear and appropriate managerial and professional accountability.

The HSCB has the authority to monitor, evaluate and inspect Services and to require Trusts to provide them with information on any matter related to the discharge of relevant functions. The HSCB has a responsibility to keep the Department informed of the outcome of their quality assurance arrangements in respect of Trusts’ discharge of relevant functions.

There are also two independent bodies the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority and the Patient and Client Council (PCC), both of which have a particular role to play. They each provide an independent perspective on the performance of the HSC system, one which validates and challenges the system’s own performance management arrangements. The RQIA focuses on the quality and safety of services, using statutory and other standards agreed by the Department to benchmark not only the services but also the governance frameworks within which they are provided. PCC focuses on the interests of patients, clients and carers in HSC services. Both of these organisations provide important independent assurance to the wider public about the quality, efficacy and accessibility of health and social care services.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), which although accountable to the DHSSP is an independent health and social care regulatory body, whose functions include:

Keeping the Department informed about the provision, availability and quality of health and social care services;

Promoting improvement in the quality of health and social care services by, for example, disseminating advice on good practice and standards;

Reviewing and reporting on clinical and social care governance in the Health and Social Care;

Undertakes a programme of planned thematic and governance reviews across a range of subject areas, reporting to the Department making recommendations to take account of good practice and service improvements.

Regulating (registering and inspecting) a wide range of health and social care services.

the council authority, the council officer and the name of that officer, responsible for your child protection policies;

Child Protection Policies are set down by the DHSSPS. Since the establishment of SBNI in 2011, the SBNI is the body responsible for developing Regional policy and procedures set down by the DHSSPS. The Chair of the SBNI, currently Mr Hugh Connor is responsible. Prior to this it was the Regional Child Protection Committee. The current DHSSPS child protection policy is presently being revised and once received, the SBNI will set about developing the procedures. Each organisation/agency is then responsible for ensuring that they have their own policy and procedures as set down by the SBNI. Within the HSCTs the responsible person is each Chief Executive of the five Trusts.

the means by which that person is held to account by a member of the public for their performance in discharging that public function;

Please see comments relating to (b). In relation to the Policy and Procedures developed by the SBNI, the Chair of the SBNI is accountable directly to the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety and to the Department, to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Each person who comes into contact with health and social care has a right to make a compliant to an agency/organisation in relation to the service they received from that particular body. If still not satisfied regarding their complaint they can bring their complaint to the Northern Ireland Complaints Commissioner to investigate the matter.

(e) how the function in (c) is properly discharged and held accountable for policies which would best effectively protect children from abuse if the person referred to in (a) does not collect any information on child abuse perpetration?"

The HSCB, the Department, the Minister and the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, hold each HSCT through its Chief Executive to account for the exercise of their statutory functions. If there are issues in relation to how individuals carried out their responsibilities, each agency can invoke their own disciplinary procedures. The individual can also be referred to the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Council to investigate the matter. This is the registering body for social care workers and sets standards for their conduct.

As stated previously the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and the Patient and Client Council (PCC), have also a role in providing an independent perspective on the system.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Burke

Professional Officer

----- Original Message -----
From: Ciara.Ward@hscni.net
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2014 5:03 PM
Subject: Freedom of Information Request

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Ref: Freedom of Information Request No 01.01.14/DM

Thank you for your request for information which was received by email on 10th January 2014. Your request has been processed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I can confirm that the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland does not hold the information in respect of your request.

To try and offer some assistance in respect of your request I have been liaising with the South Eastern Health and Social Care (SEHSCT) who I understand may hold the information. I would therefore suggest that you contact Mr Hugh McCaughey, Chief Executive, SEHSCT Headquarters, Ulster Hospital, Upper Newtownards Road, Dundonald, BT16 1RH to seek the information you request. Contact details are as follows: Phone 028 9055 314, Fax: 028 9055 3199 http://www.setrust.hscni.net

Yours sincerely

Margaret Burke

Professional Officer

sbnisupport@hscni.net

Who do local authorities protect children from? 28th December 2013

http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/abuse.htm