Safeguarding Children and Adults
YAS is committed to safeguarding vulnerable members of our community and continues to work closely with partner organisations to improve this process.
Safeguarding adults’ procedures relate to the multi-agency response in respect of a person aged 18 years or over:
‘who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and
who is or maybe unable to take care of him or herself, or able to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’.
(‘No Secrets’ DH 2000).
Where the term child, children or young person is stated, this relates to a person who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.
(Children Act 1989, 2004).
Our legislative responsibilities to safeguard children and young people, requires us to be vigilant and responsive, every time we engage with service users and families.
Guidance is provided by the document; Working Together to Safeguard Children (DCSF, 2010), which defines safeguarding as:
“The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.”
Duty and Responsibility
To address safeguarding responsibilities YAS has:
- a safe recruitment process that includes a Criminal Records Bureau Policy and Procedure with reference to the Independent Safeguarding Authority
- an Allegations Against Staff Policy and Procedure with clear links to Police and Local Authority Designated Officers in each locality of Yorkshire
- a named Executive Director with responsibility for safeguarding
- a Head of Safeguarding, with a team of three named professionals
- internal and external reporting mechanisms to capture safeguarding issues.
Policies and Procedures
YAS has the following policies and procedures in place:
- Safeguarding Children and Young People.
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults.
- Allegations Against Staff.
- Clinical Supervision for safeguarding Professionals.
- Domestic Violence/Abuse.
Education and Development
YAS provides and facilitates educational opportunities for all its staff regarding the safeguarding of children and adults. This is achieved by the following:
- All new staff receive a 30-minute session on safeguarding during the corporate induction training.
- All staff receive a statutory and mandatory distance-learning workbook annually. This includes sections on safeguarding adults, learning disabilities and safeguarding children at Level 1.
- All operational Accident and Emergency (A&E) and Patient Transport Service staff, receive classroom delivery of safeguarding adults and safeguarding children level 1 and 2 during the clinical training induction process.
- YAS provides e-learning access to all staff via the National Learning Management System platform. This provides numerous e-learning packages to YAS staff, including a bespoke Ambulance Domestic Violence resource produced in conjunction with the Safer Leeds Partnership.
- The Safeguarding team also provides classroom training for other staff within the Trust. So far, this has included;
- Communications Centre staff
- All members of the Human Resources Directorate
- All members of the Patient Services team
- Members of the Health, Safety and Risk teams
- Members of the Clinical Audit team.
The YAS Safeguarding team produces a training action plan each year that is ratified by the Clinical Governance Committee and approved by the YAS Executive Team.
The Safeguarding team also promotes multi-agency training provided by the Safeguarding Boards across Yorkshire. This is publicised in the YAS staff safeguarding leaflet, the weekly staff newsletter Operational Update and within the YAS safeguarding classroom training.
In 2010 the YAS Head of Safeguarding was invited and accepted to become a member of the management committee for the Masters Degree in Child Welfare at the University of Huddersfield. This enables a deeper understanding of the higher education aspect of safeguarding and an opportunity to develop closer links with the University.
YAS recognises the safeguarding potential of the Access and Response communications centres to help identify vulnerable people from the information received when members of the public call for help. Safeguarding issues can be identified during 999 emergency calls and also during the audit process of these calls.
Emergency medical dispatchers notify the Safeguarding team of any 999 calls that involve domestic violence or where children are in the environment when drug and alcohol abuse is suspected or when known.
YAS also monitors frequent callers who call the 999 emergency service. Information about these callers is logged and shared each month with primary care trusts in each area of Yorkshire.
Working with Partner Agencies
YAS works closely with the safeguarding lead commissioners from the Bradford and Airedale NHS Trust. This arrangement has resulted in the development and establishment of a memorandum of agreement with all primary care trusts and safeguarding boards across the region. YAS is now able to share and receive information from all adult and children’s boards across the region via this process.
YAS continues to work with all adult and children’s safeguarding boards in response to notifications of serious case reviews. All recommendations and action plans are monitored within the Trust and approved by the Executive Team for closure when appropriate. YAS also continues to engage with all children’s boards in respect of the unexpected death process. YAS submits reports to the respective Child Death Overview Panels (CDOP) following involvement in an unexpected child death.
YAS works closely with the safeguarding leads in the other English ambulance services. The meetings are held quarterly and this allows the sharing of ideas, good practice and benchmarking opportunities.
The process for completing referrals to social care was reviewed and updated in May 2011. The handling of all referrals to Social Care Teams are now handled by the Clinical Hub in the YAS Emergency Operations Centre. This provides all partner agencies with a single point of contact 24 hours a day and has improved the speed and governance of referrals for all staff involved.
Care Quality Commission – Safeguarding Children - A review of arrangements in the NHS for safeguarding children (published July 2009):