- Safeguarding information
- Child and Adult Safeguarding Training
- How to raise a concern
- NHFT safeguarding policies
- Related links
Safeguarding is everybody's business and all Trust staff have a duty of care to safeguard children and adults.
Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families during the course of their work have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This includes staff who don't have a direct role in relation to children or child protection. Everyone working with children and families in NHFT are familiar with and follow the protocols for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children – according to the level of responsibility or input they have with patients, carers and families.
The Trust’s Safeguarding Children Team offer advice, support and training for all staff on matters of safeguarding. Our aims are to provide accessible, quality, county-wide safeguarding support, supervision and training for all staff working with children and families in the Trust. We also ensure national recommendations and guidance for good practice, and that the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) recommendations are implemented and complied with. We identify and recommend service changes ensuring lessons learnt are put into clinical practice.
Whether you work with adults or not, any member of staff (clinical or non-clinical) has a duty of care to report their concerns to the correct authority within agreed timescales. Vulnerable adults are people aged 18 or over who may be in need of care services by reason of mental health or other disability, age or illness, or who may be experiencing abuse or neglect and may not be able to protect themselves from harm. Adults with aspects of learning, physical or sensory disability, mental health problems, dementia, acquired brain injury, drug or alcohol issues and some types of physical illness, as well as older people are more vulnerable.
Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) is the lead authority for Northamptonshire, however the Trust have a Safeguarding Adults Team who can advise staff during office hours on what to do if they suspect that abuse is occurring. Members of the public can also raise concerns direct with NCC or use the online form on the NCC website. The Northamptonshire Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB) and its members work in partnership to provide strategic leadership for effective local adult safeguarding arrangements.
The categories of abuse for children and adults are:
Additional categories for adults (as set out in the Care Act 2014) are:
- Financial or material
- Modern slavery
- Domestic abuse
Safeguarding also includes:
Domestic abuse affects one in four women and one in six men in our society. The effects of domestic abuse on victims, children, young people and families can be far reaching and devastating. At the most extreme level, it can result in death. Prolonged physical, emotional and psychological abuse can result in significant distress, anxiety and trauma, which may last forever. Domestic abuse is significantly under-reported due to the nature of the abuse. The long-term impact of domestic abuse on a child can range from direct individual difficulties associated with a child's social, emotional and psychological wellbeing.
As with all safeguarding issues, domestic abuse awareness and responsiveness is everyone's responsibility. Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial and/or emotional).
Honour Based Violence
Honour-based violence is any incident of crime that has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community. Female genital mutilation is categorised as honour-based violence and is illegal in Great Britain. Staff have a legal responsibility to report concerns about this practice relating to girls aged under 18.
Prevent is a Home Office and Department of Health anti-terrorism initiative that aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Think Family is an initiative designed to secure better outcomes for children, young people and families with additional needs by coordinating the support they receive from services for children, young people, adults and families.
Looked after Children
Looked After Children are children in the care of the Local Authority. They can be at a higher risk of abuse. There is a joint team made up of staff from the Trust and Northamptonshire Children's Trust who co-ordinate the care of Looked After Children.
Child and Adult Safeguarding Training
Child and Adult Safeguarding Training is mandatory for all staff. The level of training needed depends on where staff work. Safeguarding training is delivered at three different levels and covers children and adults at each of those levels.
Everyone joining the Trust will undertake Induction Training, which covers Level 2 Safeguarding Training for both children and adults. This establishes a baseline of knowledge irrespective of where you are going to be working within the Trust. This session is valid for three years.
The Safeguarding Team also offer training on other specific areas such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, adult risk management and Prevent.
How to raise a concern
Please select the category for the person you would like to raise a concern about.
If staff have concerns that an unborn baby or child is likely to suffer, is experiencing or has experienced significant harm they must make a referral to Northamptonshire Children's Trust and call 0300 126 7000. Click here to find out more about how to raise a concern.
Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB)
If the concern is urgent, contact the joint Northamptonshire County Councils Customer Service Centre on 0300 126 1000, option 2. The Emergency Duty Team can be contacted outside office hours on 01604 626 938.The form used to make a referral is an SA1. Please click here to complete the form.
NHFT safeguarding policies
Safeguarding is integral to many NHFT policies. In addition, below are policies that are specific to safeguarding.
These policies provide clearly defined guidance to all Trust staff for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults:
Policy for Safeguarding Adults at risk of harm (Jun 2024) CLP055[pdf] 430KB
Policy for Safeguarding Children (Child Protection) Policy (Exp Aug 25) CLP047[pdf] 1MB
To ensure that the interests and safety of children visiting inpatient areas are protected at all times please refer to the ‘Children Visiting Inpatient and Residential Units Policy’:
Policy for Children Visiting Inpatient or Residential Units (Review June 24) CLP046[pdf] 347KB
Staff have a responsibility to raise any concerns about practises in their own organisation. There is a policy to support them to do this:
Freedom to Speak Up (Raising Issues of Concern) Policy v9 (Exp Dec 25) HR009[pdf] 1MB
Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB)
If staff have concerns that an unborn baby or child is likely to suffer, is experiencing or has experienced significant harm they must make a referral to Northamptonshire Children's Trust on 0300 126 7000. You can also make a referral here
Northamptonshire County Council - raising a concern about an adult
If the concern is urgent, contact the joint Northamptonshire County Councils Customer Service Centre on 0300 126 1000, option 2. The Emergency Duty Team can be contacted outside office hours on 01604 626 938. Find out more on their joint county councils website.
The NSPCC’s website states that they ‘stand up for children by finding the best ways to prevent abuse and neglect and influencing the Westminster government to take action’. Find out more on the NSPCC website by clicking here.
Age UK is the county's largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. The website also provides advice and information on topics and issues affecting older people. Find out more on the Age UK website by clicking here.
Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. They work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress. Find out more on the Mind website here.
Northampton Women's Aid
Northampton Women’s Aid is there for women and their children who are victims of domestic abuse. 24-hour emergency refuge, support, outreach and aftercare is available by phoning 08451 232311. Find out more on the Northampton Women's Aid website here.
Formerly known as Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge, EVE provide a 24-hour service for women with children escaping domestic abuse. Accommodation in refuge, advice, crisis help, aftercare and resettlement is available by phoning 01604 230311 or by visiting the EVE website here.
NORMEN is the Northamptonshire Mental Health Gateway that is designed to make sure parents, professionals and other people working with children and young people are aware of local services, training and support materials. Find out more on the NORMEN website here.
Northamptonshire Against Domestic and Sexual Abuse (NADASA)
Northamptonshire Against Domestic and Sexual Abuse (NADASA) is made up of different services across the county to support people who have been or are at risk of being the victim of domestic or sexual abuse. Find out more on the NADASA website here.
Voice is a free and confidential support service for victims and witnesses of crime in Northamptonshire. Find out more information on the Voice Northamptonshire website here.