The safeguarding of children who use our services is of paramount importance to us at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) and something that we take very seriously within Paediatrics.
Indeed we are required, statutorily, to ensure that we are compliant with Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 and with the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations (2009).
In simple terms this means that we are required to have:
• An Executive Board lead for Safeguarding overseeing the effectiveness of our safeguarding arrangements
• A Team of ‘Named Professionals’ who provide leadership with in the the organisation in relation to safeguarding and offer advice, support and supervision to colleagues on safeguarding matters
• Training for all our staff to help them confidently and skilfully identify children at risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation or radicalisation and respond appropriately
• Safeguarding Policies which link to those of our Local Safeguarding Children Boards and include Information Sharing Agreements and an Accountability Framework
• Audit of safeguarding processes
• Robust recruitment processes and on-going monitoring and checks in relation to staff suitability
• Effective and cooperative partnerships with other statutory agencies including Children’s Social Care, Police, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and other Health partners
In order to better protect children that use our services we have implemented a number of service improvements within paediatrics. For example: We have a means of flagging children where there have been identified safeguarding concerns to ensure this information is included in assessments; we have a ‘Was Not Brought Policy’ to help staff identify suitable and proportionate action when children are not brought to appointments and we have enhanced the information we share with GPs and Community Health Colleagues at the point of discharge where safeguarding concerns have been explored during an admission. We are always seeking ways to improve the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements.
We know that when a child protection issue is being investigated that this can be very stressful for families and carers and every effort will be made to keep families fully informed about the process, investigations and results. We are also seeking the views of families about their experiences of our services.
We want children and young people who access our services to be empowered to seek help for themselves.
If you are a child (under 18) and need advice about a safeguarding issue you can contact ChildLine on the number / web link below:
0800 1111 Or childline.org.uk