Inter-professional communication and decision making Practice issues identified in an analysis of 38 serious case reviews

Woman sat with a notebookProblems with inter-professional communication and its impact upon decision making is a common theme in serious case reviews (SCRs).

We looked at 38 SCRs, published between May 2014 and April 2015, and identified 44 different practice issues relating to how professionals in different agencies communicate and make decisions.

We have produced a mapping document giving an overview of the practice issues to support managers, senior managers and practitioners. This document illustrates the child’s journey from universal services through early help assessments, referrals, strategy meetings, assessments, Child in Need meetings, child protection conferences and ongoing case work.

We have also produced 14 briefings that look at some of these practice issues in more detail.

Authors: NSPCC and Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
Published: 2016

Download overview of 44 practice issues

Download practice issues briefings

These 14 briefings provide a more detailed understanding of practice issues highlighted by the SCR reports and can help support change and improvement work at national and local levels. They use analysis from 38 SCR reports and practitioner knowledge gathered during 3 multi-agency summits.

Please cite as: NSPCC/SCIE (2016) Learning into Practice: inter-professional communication and decision making – practice issues identified in 38 serious case reviews. London: NSPCC/SCIE.

Improving the quality and use of serious case reviews

From April 2015 to March 2016 we worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) on a Department for Education (DfE) funded Learning into Practice project, piloting ways to improve the quality and use of serious case reviews (SCRs).

The project focused on

  • adding practitioner knowledge to an analysis of SCRs to identify practice issues relating to "inter-professional communication and decision making"
  • creating an Alliance of professional and leadership bodies to drive forwards improvements in practice
  • developing a set of quality markers to help support commissioners and reviewers through the SCR process
  • developing master classes for lead reviewers to build on their experience and knowledge around specific skills relevant to undertaking SCRs.

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