Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Trust Board are fully committed to providing the highest standards of safeguarding practice.

The Trust believes that everyone has a right to:

  • Live free from violence, fear and abuse
  • Be protected from harm and exploitation
  • Be independent - which may involve some risk
  • Say 'No' to anything they don't fully understand

 

The Trust considers that safeguarding is the responsibility of all staff, both clinical and non-clinical. The Trust will discharge its safeguarding duties and provide assurance of this to the CCG. All staff have a duty of care to share concerns about a patient or staff welfare if they believe they are suffering, or likely to suffer harm. Staff have mandatory safeguarding training on induction and repeated every three years.

 

Trust safeguarding documents

 

Partnership Working

Further reading about how we work in partnership to safeguard adults can be found on the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board website:

Link to website

 

Further information regarding the work of the Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Partnership can be found here:

Link to website

 

Raising your concerns

If you are concerned that a person who is a patient within the hospital is being abused or neglected, please call 01932 872000 and ask for the appropriate team:

  • Adult safeguarding (over 18 years with care and support needs)
  • Children's safeguarding (from 28 days to 18 years)
  • Safeguarding midwifery team (pregnancy related, babies under 28 days)
  • Adult Social Care Team (local authority social work team based within the hospital)

 

If you are concerned about abuse regarding an adult or child in your community, then you can make a direct referral using the contacts below:

  • The Children’s Single Point of Access (C-SPA) or Surrey Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) - for adults - can be reached on 0300 470 9100 – Mon-Fri (9:00am - 5:00pm).
  • Outside of these hours, the Emergency Duty Team should be contacted on 01483 517898
  • In the event of an immediate risk of significant harm – Police should be called on 999

 

What is abuse?

“Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons”.

  • Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts
  • It may be physical, verbal or psychological
  • It may be an act of neglect or an omission to act
  • It may occur when an adult at risk is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent
  • Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it
  • Abuse may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent, negligence or lack of knowledge

 

What is significant harm?

‘Significant harm’ should be taken to include:

  • Ill treatment including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical
  • The impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health
  • The impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development

 

What constitutes an adult safeguarding concern?

In 2014 the Care Act introduced clear guidance relating to what constitutes an adult safeguarding concern. Previously adults might be described as vulnerable, or at risk, however, under the Care Act the scope for safeguarding is described as a situation where a local authority has reasonable cause to suspect that an adult in its area (whether or not ordinarily resident there)

  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting those needs)
  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
  • As a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it

 

The Care Act further introduced a general duty on local authorities to promote an individual’s ‘wellbeing’. This means that they should always have a person’s wellbeing in mind and when making decisions about them or planning services.

Wellbeing can relate to:

  • personal dignity (including treatment of the individual with respect)
  • physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • protection from abuse and neglect
  • control by the individual over day-to-day life (including over care and support)
  • participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • social and economic wellbeing
  • domestic, family and personal relationships
  • suitability of living accommodation
  • the individual's contribution to society

 

This does not mean that just because a person is old, frail or has a disability they are inevitably ‘at risk’. For example, a person with a disability who has mental capacity to make decisions about their own safety could be perfectly able to make informed choices and protect themselves from harm. In the context of safeguarding adults, the degree of risk is related to a number of factors, including how able they are to access support and/or protect themselves from harm.

Adults, with capacity, are free to choose the level of risk they live with, this may mean that some patients who appear to be living ‘risky’ lifestyles may do so if they can make and exercise their own informed choices free from duress, pressure or undue influence of any sort, protecting themselves from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

 

How we safeguard children

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) states the key principles of safeguarding children are that:

  1. Safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility
  2. A child centered approach must be promoted

All staff that comes into contact with children and young people have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote their welfare; all staff should know what to do if they have any concerns. This includes all staff that work predominantly or completely with adults. Even though a health professional may not be working directly with the child, they may be seeing their parent, carer or other significant adult and have knowledge that is relevant to a child’s safety and welfare.

A child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th Birthday and includes the unborn child (The Children Act 1989 & 2004).

 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young children is the process of:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children's health or development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances

(Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018)

 

Child protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

The prime concern at all stages must be the interests and safety of the child. Where there is conflict of interest between the child and the parent/carer, the welfare of the child is paramount.