A new partnership organisation will start work later this year to safeguard children across Dorset.

Working across the whole county it will involve the NHS, police and the two new unitary councils for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and the Dorset Council.

Dorset safeguarding lead Cllr Steve Butler said that the new organisation would be equally funded by the four partners and would work across the whole county.

The new body will replace the existing boards which an inspection report decided were not working as effectively as they should be.

Details of the new arrangements have to be published by the end of June with new partnership coming into place in September this year.

Running alongside the new body will be a ‘learning hub’ to spread best practice and to engage with schools, parents, foster carers and others who work with children and young people.

The existing Safeguarding Children Board has been criticised at previous council meetings for becoming too ‘cumbersome’, often attended by more than 40 professionals.

Cllr Jaquie Sewell, speaking at Monday’s shadow overview and scrutiny committee called for the new body to include people who use social services which she said was essential so that their perspective could be included in discussions.

Cllr Pauline Batstone, who chairs one of the existing safeguarding boards, said she welcomed the changes but said that further thought needed to be given about how reviews into child deaths were handled.

She was told that Dorset may well work with neighbours, Somerset, on reviews into child deaths, of which Dorset has about 40 a year, but that talks on the idea were still at an early stage.