Safeguarding is firmly embedded in the core duties of all organisations across the Kent and Medway health system. All organisations are required to meet statutory responsibilities for safeguarding, which include making sure there is clear leadership and lines of accountability, having appropriate policies and procedures, providing safeguarding training and working in partnership with relevant agencies to protect children and adults at risk of harm.
Fundamentally, it remains the responsibility of every NHS-funded organisation and each individual healthcare professional working in the NHS, to make sure the principles and duties of safeguarding children and adults are holistically and consistently applied and the wellbeing of those children and adults is at the heart of everything we do.
We are committed to making sure safeguarding is a high priority at all levels of the organisation. As a commissioner, NHS Kent and Medway has a responsibility to commission safe services and to be assured that providers are delivering on their safeguarding responsibilities.
To achieve this, there are robust arrangements in place to provide strong leadership.
- There is a clear line of accountability for safeguarding in NHS Kent and Medway.
- An accountable officer and an executive lead for safeguarding are in place.
- Responsibility for safeguarding children and adults at risk sits within the portfolio of the Chief Nurse.
- Designated professionals provide expertise on safeguarding to NHS Kent and Medway and the health economy. The team reports to the head of safeguarding and provides safeguarding advice, training and support to providers. They also provide assurance on safeguarding statutory responsibilities.
- The executive lead, head of safeguarding and the designated professionals are part of the Kent and Medway safeguarding multi-agency arrangements for children and the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adult Board.
All eligible NHS Kent and Medway colleagues are required to complete a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check. Enhanced level checks are also carried out, where appropriate, and where safeguarding responsibilities are included in the employee’s job description.
NHS Kent and Medway is committed to partnership working and is a key member of the Kent and Medway safeguarding children multi-agency partnership boards and the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adult Board.
|Health and care partnership||Designated nurse safeguarding children||Designated nurse safeguarding adults||Safeguarding specialist practitioner (all ages)||Designated Doctor safeguarding children||Named GP|
India Sholeh India.firstname.lastname@example.org
|Sameena Shakoor Sameena.email@example.com 01892 539144|
firstname.lastname@example.org 07387 546109
|Dr Oluwafemi Ogunbona
Dr Brighton Chireka Brighton.email@example.com 07766 441216
|Medway and Swale||Annie Still firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Richard Patey Richard.email@example.com
|Dr Hannah Newens
|Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley||Vanessa Colman
|Sameena Shakoor Sameena.firstname.lastname@example.org 01892 539144||Dr Gaurav Asal
Designate nurse safeguarding children
NHS Kent and Medway Central Team: email@example.com
What is adult safeguarding?
This is organisations working together to protect an adult’s right to live free from abuse and neglect. It is also about making sure that, wherever possible, organisations listen and give regard to the adult’s wishes, choices and feelings. The aim is to safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live.
What is abuse?
Abuse can happen anywhere and occurs when someone exploits another person, or treats them in a way that harms or hurts them. It can happen once or on multiple occasions. People who abuse are not always strangers. They can be partners, relatives, a friend, neighbour or carer. Everyone has the right to live their lives free from abuse and neglect.
Working together to safeguard adults across Kent and Medway
The Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board (KMSAB) is a multi-agency partnership consisting of statutory and voluntary partner organisations, working together to keep adults at risk of abuse or neglect safe. More details about the board, its work and joint multi-agency policies and guidance can be found here.
What if I am concerned someone is at risk?
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and concerns can be raised by anyone including:
- the person experiencing the alleged abuse
- members of the general public
- health and social care staff.
If you are concerned an adult at risk is experiencing, or suspected to be experiencing, abuse or neglect - report it here.
What happens after abuse is reported?
If you report abuse.
- Every report of abuse is taken seriously
- You will be listened to and asked to provide information about the situation
- You will be encouraged to give your name to enable your concerns to be followed up
- Professionals will make enquiries about the concerns. They will contact the adult at risk to involve them in the safeguarding process wherever possible, unless to do so may place them at further risk initially.
What is child safeguarding?
All children and young people have the right to live in safety. Child safeguarding is about protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of health or development, and making sure their circumstances are consistent with safe and effective care.
Working together to safeguard children across Kent and Medway
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 set out new structural requirements for multi-agency safeguarding partnerships. NHS Kent and Medway now has a shared and equal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
You can find out more here about the childrens' partnership arrangements:
What if I am concerned a child is at risk?
If you have concerns a child is at risk of being abused stay calm and ensure the child is safe. Don’t delay in reporting the alleged abuse.
If you have any concerns about safeguarding issues please report them. More information and contact details are provided on the councils' websites:
If you think someone is in immediate danger, the best thing to do is phone 999 for the emergency services.
Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality or social background. NHS Kent and Medway is part of the Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Executive Group. The group work together to meet the shared goals defined in the Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Strategy 2020 to 2023.
The overall aim is to reduce the prevalence of domestic abuse and ensure where domestic abuse takes place, those affected get the right support, quickly.
You can find out more about the strategy here.
If you are concerned you, or someone you know, is at risk more information about support services can be found here.
Extremism and radicalisation in our community are real threats to our society and being aware of the signs is the first step. You can help to reduce the threat from terrorism, radicalisation and extremism by being vigilant, knowing what to report and reporting it. You can find out more here.
More help can be found on the government website, if you are worried about someone being radicalised.