Findings of Sutton’s Joint Targeted Area Inspection

01 Sep 2023

A recent inspection has found that “committed leaders have an accurate and realistic understanding of the services they lead, including both the strengths and the challenges, ensuring that most children can access the requisite level of help, support and protection at the right time across front door services.” 

The Joint Targeted Area Inspection was carried out by inspectors from Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

It focused on the multi-agency response to the identification of initial need and risk, also referred to as the ‘front door’, to understand how safeguarding arrangements allow Sutton’s leaders and professionals to work together to identify and respond to children at risk of harm.

Effective multi-agency interventions and support reduce harm for most children  during the assessment period in early help and statutory services.

Councillor Marian James, Chair of Sutton Council’s People Committee, said: 

“Partnership working is a real strength of ours in Sutton and I am delighted to see that our strong local joint response and support services have been recognised by the inspectors.

“I am pleased with the overall outcome and positive feedback on our good work for children and young people. However, it is important that we are not complacent in our ambition to create a more inclusive borough for all, and I welcome this opportunity to further strengthen our partnerships to give Sutton’s children and young people the best support and outcomes possible.”

Jonathan Williams, Director of Children's Services, Sutton's People Services Directorate, said:

“The inspection and this report are very much welcomed - it represents the great work we are doing as well as giving us an opportunity to learn and continually improve. I would like to thank all our staff across the partnership who are so passionately dedicated to supporting our children and young people and their families.”

Christine Davies, Independent Scrutineer and Board Chair, said:

“The strength of the partnership shone through the multi-agency inspection and I am delighted and  proud that inspectors have recognised that ‘the LSCP is an equitable partnership with full engagement from, police, health, social care, education representatives, and commissioned services’.

“The outcome of the inspection is a reflection of how the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership continues to promote the welfare and safety of all children and young people in Sutton.” 

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust Managing Director James Blythe and Arlene Wellman, Group Chief Nurse for the St George’s, Epsom and St Helier Hospital and Health Group commented: 
“We welcome this report, which rightly identifies our strengths in collaborating with local partners to safeguard our communities in the borough. We also look forward to working in partnership and collaborating further going forward.” 

Lucy Botting, Director of Sutton Health and Care Community Services commented: 

"The inspection report highlights the great strengths of our partnership work in Sutton. We should be proud of the care and support we all deliver for children, young people and their families across Sutton." 

Joanna Cassey, Managing Director, Cognus Limited, said:

“Cognus were pleased to be a partner in the recent inspection; the outcomes are testament to the strength of partnership across the local area and continued focus on providing high quality support and safeguarding practice for our children and young people.” 

Fi Martin, Detective Superintendent Public Protection South Area BCU, said:

“I welcome the findings of the inspection and it is really pleasing to see the great partnership work and good practice we have in Sutton has been recognised. It is important we continue to build on them.

“We are working to address the areas highlighted by the report.  Improving outcomes for vulnerable children and young people is central to the strengthening public protection programme within the Met and is really important to all officers on South BCU.”

Read the Ofsted inspection report.

Find out more about the Sutton Local Safeguarding Children Partnership.