Safeguarding Children: Declaration of Compliance 2015-16
NHS Organisations are subject to Section 11 duties as set out in Working Together (2015). Section 11 of the Children’s Act places duties on a range of organisations and individuals to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (including the unborn baby). Organisations are required to have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including:
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to achieving and maintaining good compliance with national safeguarding children standards to ensure that all children are cared for in a safe, secure and caring environment. This will be achieved through continuous monitoring, audit, review and quality improvement led by skilled and competent named professionals, supported and challenged by the Trust’s Safeguarding Committee, Safeguarding Children’s Operational Group and Trust Board. There is a Board Level Executive Director with specific responsibility for safeguarding children. The Trust has representation on its Local Safeguarding Children Board, Children Trust Board and has nominated individuals to attend their committees. The Trust contributes to multi-agency audits, evaluations, investigations and Serious Case Reviews, and ensures all learning is embedded across the organisation.
Resources: the Trust has named professionals who lead on issues in relation to safeguarding children which include a Named Doctor, Nurse, Midwife and other specialists within the team with specific roles and responsibilities, for safeguarding children and young people.
Systems & Processes: the Trust has an on-going process to review and update its safeguarding children systems and processes and is committed to continuous improvement to raise performance. An Annual Safeguarding Children’s report is submitted and a work plan is in place, which is reviewed quarterly at the Trust’s Safeguarding Committee and Safeguarding Children Operational Group. The Trust meets statutory requirements in relation to the Disclosure & Barring Scheme checks and follows the NHS Employers Standard, which includes enhanced checks, for staff working with children and vulnerable adults
Policies: the organisation has Board approved policies and procedures on how to recognise children and their families in need of early help or at risk of harm and ensure all staff have guidance and know how to use them. The policies are consistent with and are referenced to safeguarding children legislation, national policy, guidance and local multi-agency procedures. The Trust has guidance in place to follow up children missing appointments and a policy for Safeguarding Children Supervision.
Safeguarding Children Training: the Trust has a robust Safeguarding Children Training Strategy to meet the needs of staff groups who will require various levels of training to fulfil their duties depending on their level of contact with children/young people and/or their role in the child protection process. The Strategy is aligned with the competencies and levels of training, as detailed in Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competences for Health Care Staff, Intercollegiate Document 3rd Edition, March 2014. The Trust’s safeguarding training is monitored at its performance meetings, Safeguarding Committee and Children’s Operational Group. Training incorporates emerging recommendations from Serious Case Reviews (local and national).
Safeguarding Children Audits: safeguarding children audits are carried out and the results presented and discussed quarterly at the Trust’s Safeguarding Committee and the Safeguarding Children’s Operational Group.
Multi-agency Working: the organisation is committed to multi-agency working (early intervention, planning meetings, strategy meetings and case conferences (not exhaustive)) and contributing through its attendance at its Local Safeguarding Children Board. The Trust ensures that allegations, complaints and concerns including whistleblowing from any source are managed effectively and referred, according to internal and local multi-agency procedures; ensuring any lessons learned are implemented across the Trust.
Assurance: the Board of Directors of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust are accountable for and committed to ensuring the safeguarding of children in their care. The Board receives safeguarding children reports from its Executive Lead and regularly reviews its arrangements against these requirements. The Trust takes its responsibilities for safeguarding children seriously and would want to assure the public and service users, through the publication of the above declaration, that the arrangements in place are robust and meet all statutory and good practice requirements.
Equality and Diversity: the Trust ensures that racial heritage, language, religion, faith, gender and disability are taken into account when working with children and young people