HEALTH services have been labelled “deluded” after a children’s safeguarding report pointed out failings across the system.

The care watchdog handed Bury’s health services a list of 46 recommendations to improve their ways after a lengthy inspection.

The protection of children was especially called into question at Fairfield General and a councillor revealed outdated faxes were still being used. Staff at walk-ins also had poor training.

Cllr Sharon Briggs launched a scathing attack after reading the report saying it had “shocked” her.

Speaking at the health and wellbeing board at Bury Council on Tuesday evening Cllr Briggs, cabinet member for children and families, said: “Unfortunately, it’s very difficult reading. I was shocked really at the level of need for change there was.

“I think we can be quite deluded and feel ourselves we are getting things right because we don’t scrutinise enough.

“I’m shocked.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the borough’s services, specifically looking at safeguarding practices.

Seven inspectors looked at GP surgeries, Fairfield General Hospital, the walk-in centres and the looked after children team at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. This took them a week.

This report does not give an overall grading to the services but gives specific areas to improve.

Fairfield's emergency department was called "a significant cause for concern" and the inspectors found instances of delays of three weeks for sending important information.

High staff turnover at both walk-in centres was also a concern with new staff coming in and not being properly trained.

Cllr Briggs called out poor leadership and bad IT systems. The CQC inspectors noted concerns about information sharing between health professionals saying it was not timely and could lead to delays.

Inspectors said: "Whilst [Pennine Acute’s] improvement plan clearly recognises the need to have information technology infrastructures that are fit for purpose, the timescale for completion is still some time away (March 2020)."

After the inspection health leaders in Bury have formulated an action plan to improve their services. There will be a discussion in May with the CQC about the action plan.

Cllr Briggs said: “I’m pleased to hear we have the action plan but some of those criticisms, I can’t understand why it’s waited for an inspection for the failings to become apparent.

“It’s leadership and lack of investment in IT.

“You’re still faxing safeguarding information ­— It’s 2019.

“Are we still using faxes for critical information that needs to be passed on to people and can be lost in a machine or left in a tray?

“I think it’s more by luck than management that you haven’t had a major disaster.

“It’s all our responsibility and it’s not good enough.”

Maxine Lomax, head of safeguarding and deputy director of nursing told the board the issue with the faxes had been resolved and in one case it had been because staff were unsure about which email address they could use.

She also confirmed issues with staffing at walk-ins were being improved and more staff were being brought in.