Inspectors hail city service helping young parents

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THE quality of help available to young parents and children in the Capital has been hailed ­after a landmark report ­revealed improving standards of care across the city.

Inspectors highlighted Edinburgh’s Family Nurse Partnership – where nurses offer parents under the age of 20 support from early pregnancy until infants are two years old – as one of a number of areas of strength in a positive report which scored the city as “good” or “very good” across all quality indicators.

The Care Inspectorate’s joint report also praised family 
services in Edinburgh for the “high motivation and strong commitment” of staff, effective partnership-working and leadership, and the protection offered to children at risk of abuse and harm.

Samantha Robertson – who was 15 when she gave birth to her daughter, Leigha, and created the Sassy Mums advice website for young women who find themselves pregnant – welcomed the report’s findings.

She said: “It was so hard when I had her and it’s good that you can get support.

“She’s nearly nine now and I remember when I had her it was like, ‘oh my God’ but it’s not so much of a big deal now. It’s really important that the support is there for young mums.”

Produced by the Care Inspectorate with assistance from Education Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the report found “steady improvements” in young people’s well-being.

It also identified some areas where more work would be needed. These included long-term care planning, service evaluation and achieving faster progress for vulnerable groups.

Council, health and police chiefs pledged to do all they could to make care services in Edinburgh better.

Education leader Paul Godzik said: “We all realise that there is still more to be done but the high level of partnership work and co-operation in Edinburgh means we appear to be getting it right for those who need our services.”

Chief Superintendent Mark Williams, divisional commander for Edinburgh, said: “We are pleased the Care Inspectorate has recognised the work that has been undertaken through the Edinburgh Children’s Partnership to enhance the level of protection offered to vulnerable children and young people in the Capital.”

Sally Egan, associate director and child health commissioner for NHS Lothian, said: “We will now endeavour to make improvements which were outlined in the report and maintain the strengths already identified.”