Safeguarding and Looked after Children

Unfortunately, children are occasionally put at risk, or even hurt or harmed. The Trust takes its responsibility to safeguard all children very seriously. Our specialist Safeguarding Children Team provides training, support and advice to equip all staff to quickly recognise safeguarding concerns and take action to address them.

Safeguarding and Looked after Children

Promoting the welfare of children and protecting them from harm is referred to as ‘safeguarding’. Research shows that children are best protected when professionals are clear about what is required from them individually and how they need to work together and in partnership with families and key delivery partners.

Children’s needs must be paramount, and concerns must be identified at an early stage with informed action taken promptly. Essentially, we need to give children the right help at the right time.

All staff members at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust are aware of their professional duty to safeguard the welfare of any child who receives healthcare services or with whom they come into contact.

Staff, including those who work with adult patients, will see children and young people up to the age of 18 (including unborn babies) in a variety of settings such as hospitals, surgeries, schools, community clinics, nurseries and at home. Whatever the setting, all staff are trained to act promptly if concerned about a child’s welfare.

The Safeguarding Children Team

We support staff in their responsibility to protect children and ensure their wellbeing. We are a specialist team providing a range of expertise, support, advice, supervision and training to all staff at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust. Every individual staff member has access to the Safeguarding and Looked after Children Children Team.

Our Team works from multiple locations across seven local authorities:

  • North Yorkshire
  • City of York
  • County Durham
  • Darlington
  • Middlesborough
  • Stockton
  • Sunderland
  • Gateshead

The Team consists of:

  • Head of Safeguarding Children
  • Named Doctor (Consultant Paediatrician)
  • Named Nurse Child Protection
  • Senior Nurse Child Protection
  • Named Midwife
  • Named Nurse, Looked After Children
  • Looked After Children Nurse
  • Paediatric Liaison
  • Data Quality Officer
  • Administrator

The team support/supervise and train staff to recognise and act upon concerns in relation to the safeguarding of children and young people. It’s equally important that we ensure that children are cared for in a safe, secure, and caring environment and that safeguarding is prioritised at a strategic level.

Some of our key safeguarding children arrangements include:

  • Guaranteeing a safe workforce by ensuring staff members meet statutory requirements in relation to Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly Criminal Records Bureau) checks;
  • Ensuring policies and procedures are in place, up-to-date, and reflect statutory safeguarding children legislation and government guidance;
  • Following up children and young people who do not attend recommended outpatient appointments to ensure this is not detrimental to their health;
  • Submission of an annual report by the Team for Trust board review;
  • A clear accountability pathway and governance structure at executive and senior nursing level.

Identified Leads from the Trust take responsibility for representing safeguarding children, both on the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust Board and the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Key staff

Head of Safeguarding Children: Suzanne Lamb

Named Doctor: Anna Linden

Named Nurses: Brigid Gough, Wendy Atkinson, Alison Wood, Ann Brock, Claire Wallace and Rachael Estrop

Location

The service operates across a number of sites in Harrogate, Scarborough, Thirsk, Northallerton, Darlington, Middlesbrough, County Durham, Stockton-on-Tees, Gateshead and Sunderland.

Useful links

We work in close collaboration with a wide range of multi-agency partner agencies and are a member of the North Yorkshire, Darlington, Durham, Sunderland, and Gateshead Safeguarding Children Board and we are active members of the sub groups of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs).

  • NSPCC: The NSPCC works directly with children and families in service centres across the UK.
  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse: The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was set up because of serious concerns that some organisations had failed and were continuing to fail to protect children from sexual abuse.
  • The Truth Project: The Truth project offers the opportunity for Victims and Survivors to share their experience and be respectfully heard and acknowledged.
  • Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. If you are worried about a child or young person you can seek advice from an NSPCC trained counsellor  24/7 on 0808 800 5000 or email: help@nspcc.org.uk.

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