NHS Knowsley and Knowsley Council

December 2011

Using QIPP to drive child accident prevention

Paula Simpson used local data on childhood injuries to highlight this as an important priority for collaborative work with a range of stakeholders.

As public health commissioning manager for child and maternal health at NHS Knowsley and Knowsley Council, Paula is involved in the North Mersey Children’s QIPP programme. She is the lead for child injury prevention in a sub-group that focuses on public health, parenting and prevention. The sub-group includes representatives from Liverpool, Halton and St Helens, Knowsley and Sefton primary care trusts (PCTs).

The approach

Assessing needs

The public health, parenting and prevention sub-group was formed in October 2010 and the team’s first task was to analyse data from the four PCTs to identify priority areas of work. Childhood injury prevention emerged as a clear priority, along with infant nutrition and the impact of smoking in pregnancy and home environments.

Taking up lead responsibility for the childhood injury prevention area, Paula began work on a health needs assessment for unintentional childhood injuries. “We started by collating and analysing data and intelligence on needs,” explains Paula. “With limited time and resources, we had to focus on the most easily accessible data, which was from the acute hospital trust and a small number of walk-in centres.”

Over four years, 135,653 children (up to 17 years) attended A&E with unintentional injuries, with 17,795 emergency admissions to hospital and at a total cost of £34.5 million. Around two thirds of attendances were coded as ‘other injury’, with no further detail available. The leading identified causes of injuries were road traffic collisions and falls, so the team chose to focus on these as priority areas for action. They compared current services with what is known about effective interventions, before developing recommendations on how to make improvements. The data on falls, for example, suggested that more could be done to give parents the knowledge and confidence to manage minor injuries without seeking medical help.

Collaborative working

Paula worked closely with staff from health services, road safety partnerships, schools and children’s centres to gather and analyse data and intelligence. The frequent contact provided lots of opportunities to build strong support for a co-ordinated approach to childhood injury prevention and to encourage collaboration.

“People recognised that collaboration would help all of us to achieve better outcomes, so they were willing to invest time and effort in the needs assessment process,” says Paula. “For example, when I sought advice from the road safety team at Knowsley Council, they volunteered to write a chapter of our report.”

A co-ordinated approach to childhood injury prevention

The main recommendations of the needs assessment were to form strong partnerships amongst a variety of children’s practitioners and agencies so that a co-ordinated approach to preventing child injury prevention would follow.


Work to establish the childhood injuries strategy group and a joint accident prevention strategy will get underway with a stakeholder event for all partners and potential partners in January 2012.

Paula is also working on the business case to secure the capacity for the injury prevention work with decisions being made in early 2012.

What we can learn

  • Effective partnerships are built on a shared understanding that working together will help all partners to achieve better outcomes.
  • Partner organisations can provide valuable expertise and practical support during a needs assessment, for example by taking ownership of certain areas of the report.
  • With limited resources, it is important to focus efforts on high cost, high impact areas and develop appropriate strategies to address demand in these areas.
  • Limited availability of data and variations in coding can make data analysis challenging. One approach is to use the data available to you to prove your case, then incorporate plans for improving data access and quality into your future work programme.

Further information

For more information about the work discussed in this case study, please contact Paula Simpson on 0151 443 5614 or by email at paula.simpson@knowsley.gov.uk

Updated February 2014