Aims This work details the rejuvenation of LAC network in a region reflecting on the factors that had resulted in the network moving towards dissolution.
Methods NICE guidelines in 2010 clearly mentioned strong leadership, effective partnership and multiagency working for all professionals working with LAC. Need for redevelopment of network which previously existed had been long felt due to new guidance and to improve cross border working. The original network comprised of doctors only and gradually declined due to falling attendance. In 2012 Looked after intercollegiate guidance was published by RCPCH, wherein the role of all LAC professionals was defined. A baseline benchmarking survey was undertaken in 2012 to do a needs analysis with aim to develop an understanding for medical and nursing network along with requirement by strategic clinical network, British adoption and fostering agency. Subsequently a strategy was drawn and resources were identified. Plan was discussed with all stake holders (Strategic Clinical Network (SCN), British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) and LAC nursing leads. Network was formed in June 2012, using combined medical and nursing network as a novel concept. Local BAAF provided administrative input and the feedback to central BAAF which links with RCPCH.
Results We have a very successful joint nursing and medical network which is well attended and has had a very positive response. Network meets up twice a year and is supported both by SCN and BAAF. The agenda covers peer review and good practice including audits are shared to improve outcome. The meeting day is split part, so that nursing and medical network can learn from cases relevant to their practice . Guest speakers from local authority and CAMHS too have been a part to improve education and it has been highly appreciated. Numbers of designated professionals joining network has grown.
Conclusion To develop a network it is important to be clear with aims and available resources; ours is a good example. It is a valuable source for peer review for designated LAC professionals.
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