The safeguarding of children and promoting their welfare is everyone’s responsibility. Along with other public authorities, Somerset Primary Care Trust has a legal duty to ensure that, in everything it does, it has regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Quality standards for safeguarding children and safeguarding adults have been involved in contracts with all NHS providers. NHS Somerset monitors these standards to ensure that all providers have arrangements in place to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.
To ensure that all the relevant public authorities work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, there is a Local Safeguarding Children Board in each area, made up of senior people from the key organisations that work with children and their families.
The Somerset Local Safeguarding Children Board was established in November 2005 with the aim of working together so that children in Somerset can be safe from abuse or harm at home and stay safe in our communities.
The Board includes senior management and clinical representatives from Somerset Primary Care Trust as well as representatives from Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Somerset Community Health. Other agencies involved are the district and county councils, the police and probation service, Connexions and the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.
The Board meets three times a year and is supported by an Executive Group and a number of sub-groups and time-limited working groups.
Further Information relating to the Safeguarding Board is available through its website at www.somersetsafeguardingchildrenboard.org.uk
Current Reports & Policies
Safeguarding Children Annual Report 2008/09
Safeguarding Children Annual Report 2009/10
Safeguarding Children Annual Report 2010/11
Recommendations for the Administration of Child Protection Records in General Practice
Recommended Safeguarding Children Policy for General Practices in Somerset
Statement of Statutory Compliance for Safeguarding Children
Learning Lessons from Serious Case Reviews
A Serious Case Review is a multi-agency process to identify if lessons can be learnt and practice improved when a child dies or is seriously injured; abused or neglected. This is separate to the Child Death Review Process whereby every child death is reviewed.
Following the review a set of recommendations are produced for all agencies to implement, it is not about listing mistakes but looking at cause and effect and contributing factors.
Within NHS Somerset area there have been four recent Serious Case Reviews which have significantly impacted on professional practice for safeguarding children locally. The main outcomes have been to develop the following professional guidelines:
To support staff in their assessment of parents who have a learning impairment and their ability to parent
To adequately assess the impact of domestic violence on children within the home.
Assessment of parents who misuse drugs and alcohol and the risks posed to children living in the home
To develop training for all front line professionals
All of these developments in professional practice have contributed to a more robust system for safeguarding children within Somerset PCT.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
In 2001, the Department of Health issued ‘No Secrets’ guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse.
During 2008, all NHS trusts in Somerset participated in the consultation to review ‘No Secrets’, and identified key issues to support implementation of safeguarding adults policy practice in NHS Trusts.
Safeguarding adults from abuse requires effective co-ordination in every local area. Somerset Safeguarding Adults Board provides the mechanism for the relevant organisations in Somerset to work together in accordance with the ‘No Secrets ‘guidance Department of Health, 2001.
Somerset Safeguarding Adults Board meets four times a year. It has a good contribution from all healthcare organisations in Somerset. NHS Somerset is represented by the Deputy Director of Nursing and Patient Safety, in addition to the lead Professionals for Safeguarding Adults from all NHS Trusts. The Director of Nursing and Patient Safety is the executive lead with responsibility for safeguarding adults. There is a GP Patient Safety Lead within the Nursing and Patient Safety Directorate to lead on safeguarding adults issues in relation to general practice.
The safeguarding of vulnerable adults and promoting their welfare is everyone’s responsibility. Along with other public authorities, NHS Somerset has a legal duty to ensure that, in everything it does, it has regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable adults. NHS Somerset works in collaboration with all other healthcare services within Somerset such as Yeovil District Hospital and other Foundation Trusts, Independent Contractors such as GP Surgeries, Pharmacists, Optometrists and Dental Practices, and Independent Nursing Homes, to ensure that vulnerable adults are kept safe and free from harm.
Somerset Safeguarding Adults Annual Board Report 2008
Somerset Safeguarding Adults Annual Board Report 2009
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Procedure
Somerset County Council Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
Avon & Somerset Constabulary Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
Learning Lessons from Serious Care Reviews
Serious Case Review is a multi-agency process to identify if lessons can be learnt and practice improved when a vulnerable adult dies or is seriously injured; abused or neglected. Following the review a set of recommendations are produced for all agencies to implement, it is not about listing mistakes but looking at cause and effect and contributing factors.
NHS Somerset has participated in three serious case reviews coordinated by the Somerset Safeguarding Adults Board in 2008-09. NHS Somerset has been represented on the panel for each of these serious case reviews and ensured that all of the relevant health services have participated in the review.
An action plan has been developed to monitor the implementation of the recommendations from serious case reviews by all NHS providers. The health recommendations include:
the provision of health advice on sudden unexpected death from epilepsy,
raising awareness of safeguarding adults issues in general practice, and
improved communication about vulnerable adults across primary and secondary care.
These action points are then implemented by NHS Somerset and other health organisations to ensure that lessons are learnt and that reoccurrence does not occur.