A NEW hub aiming to improve Wiltshire’s child protection services has opened.

The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), based at County Hall, in Trowbridge, homes staff from Wiltshire Council’s social care department and Wiltshire Police.

The organisations share information to improve the speed of initial assessments of children who may be in danger and need to go into care.

The improved service has come in phases, with health and education officers joining MASH in January and an official launch planned for April.

Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said: “The MASH will help us deal with issues in a timely fashion. This is the right thing to move Wiltshire forward.”

The hub was one of 41 recommendations from a Wiltshire Council task group set up after Ofsted found the overall effectiveness of it safeguarding children and young people to be inadequate, in March 2012.

Following an inspection earlier this year, Ofsted found the council’s safeguarding was adequate thanks to the implementation of the recommendations.

Wiltshire councillor Jon Hubbard, who led the task group, said he would like to see more involvement from health authorities and other safeguarding agencies to improve the multi-agency hub.