Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy
This policy sets out the practice's approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. It applies to all aspects of our work and to everyone working for the Practice
The Safeguarding Lead for the Practice is Dr. Jeanine Lam
It is the Lead’s responsibility to:
1. Supporting training and awareness of safeguarding within the Practice
2. Attend local Borough Safeguarding meetings to keep up to date with policies, protocols and initiatives and feedback to the Practice team
3. Ensure statutory training is maintained
4. Follow appropriate reporting procedures for identifying any Patient safeguarding concerns and provide appropriate follow up
5. Ensure appropriate coding of Vulnerable patients and carry out regular reviews of these Patients
6. Use the local MDT meetings to support the care and treatment of vulnerable patients.
7. Ensure appropriate recruitment checks are carried out for new team members.
8. Ensure safeguarding ‘triggers’ are understood and flagged up appropriately (for example, frequent hospital appointment DNA’s)
We use definitions of the term ‘safeguarding’ from statutory guidance.
Safeguarding children is defined by Gov.uk Working together to safeguard children as:
1. Protecting children from maltreatment
2. Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
3. Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
4. Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
Safeguarding vulnerable adults is defined in the Gov.uk Care and support statutory guidance issued under the Care Act 2014 as:
1. Protecting the rights of adults to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect
2. People and organizations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect
3. People and organizations making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, taking fully into account their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action
4. Recognizing that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances and therefore potential risks to their safety or well-being
The Forest Practice and Stratford Health Centre carry out safe recruitment checks on everyone who works for us. All roles require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Disclosure Scotland check and references before the individual joins us. Clinicians will be subject to an enhanced DBS check because their roles will bring them into regular contact with children and vulnerable adults.
Everyone working for the Practice has a responsibility to familiarise themselves with this safeguarding policy and the procedures that go with it. They must maintain a proper focus on the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults in all aspects of their work.
We are committed to ensuring that everyone who works for us understands their safeguarding responsibilities and keeps their knowledge up to date.
Child and Adult Safeguarding training is required as part of our Statutory and Mandatory training modules and the level required is dependent on role. Training for Clinical staff should be a suitable mix of on-line training and face to face updates.
Administration Staff (On induction and 3 yearly)
Child Safeguarding Level 2 / Adult Safeguarding Level 2
Healthcare Assistant / Practice Nurse
Child Safeguarding to Level 2 (every 18 months) / Adult Safeguarding Level 2 (updated 3 yearly)
GP / Nurse Practitioners / Physician Associates
Child Safeguarding to Level 3 (every 18months) / Adult Safeguarding Level 3 (updated 3 yearly)
Acting on safeguarding concerns
No one working for us should investigate concerns about individual children or vulnerable adults who are or may be being abused or who are at risk. However, this does not mean that we should do nothing when we learn of a concern. We all have a responsibility to make sure that concerns about children and vulnerable adults are passed to the agency that can help them without delay.
If anyone is concerned that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of being abused or neglected, they should not ignore their suspicions and should not assume that someone else will take action to protect that person - concerns should be reported to the safeguarding Lead and GP Partners.
The Safeguarding Lead / GP Partner will advise on the most appropriate action depending on the evidence presented at the time.
Concerns about children should be referred to the children’s social care department of the local authority where the child lives.
Similarly, concerns about vulnerable adults should be referred to local authority adult services.
If anyone working for the Practice is in any doubt about what to do, they should consult their line manager.
Anyone working for the Practice who has concerns about the behaviour of a colleague must always raise this with their line manager as quickly as possible.
The GP Partners will by exception identify and patients where the provision of full online access may be detrimental to the health of the patient. In these circumstances, the appropriate action will be taken and a note made on the patients’ medical record.
Learning and improving
We are determined to keep improving our knowledge and understanding of how best to protect children and vulnerable adults. We will review our own procedures and policies regularly to check that we are placing the right emphasis on safeguarding within the Practice
London Borough of NEWHAM - Key Safeguarding Contacts
A full and updated list of all London Borough of Newham contacts for Adult and Child Safeguarding is available in the resource files in each consultation room as well as a copy filed within the ‘Safeguarding’ folder in the Manager’s office.
Non-Urgent safeguarding concerns should immediately be reported to the safeguarding lead or the GP Partners (who are available 24 hours)
In their absence, the matter should be brought to the attention of the CCG nominated person, or in an emergency situation and the designated persons cannot be contacted then the most senior Clinician will make a decision to report the matter directly to social services or the Police.