The five CCGs in Hampshire (North Hampshire, South East Hampshire, West Hampshire, North East Hampshire & Farnham, Fareham and Gosport) are committed to safeguarding children and looked after children and recognise safeguarding as a high priority.
To ensure that safeguarding remains a high priority we have robust arrangements in place to provide strong leadership, vision and direction for safeguarding all children and looked after children. NHS West Hampshire CCG leads on safeguarding children on behalf of the five CCGs and ensures that all CCG staff members have access to safeguarding children policies and procedures in line with relevant legislation, statutory guidance and best practice across the five CCGs.
West Hampshire CCG also hosts the designated professionals and has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with NHS England Local Area Team regarding arrangements of safeguarding within general practice. This SLA supports and ensures the Named General Practitioners (GP) for safeguarding children working closely with the CCG safeguarding children's team.
Every child has the right to be safe and it is everyone's responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children.
Therefore it is important that all staff working with children, especially children that may have welfare concerns know how to recognise and escalate these concerns.
Click here to read the Government's guidance on what to do if you think a child is being abused.
In Hampshire the Children's Social Care leads on ensuring that children in need or at risk are safeguarded in line with the Children's Act section 17 and section 47. If a concern about a child is highlighted to Children's Social Care, they have a duty of care to investigate by way of an assessment of the child's needs and ensure that the risks are mitigated and arrangements and services are put in place to safeguard the wellbeing of the child. More information can be found on the Hampshire County Council website.
If you have any concerns because you think a child might be being abused and you want to talk to someone or ask someone to find out what is going on, you should contact the Children's Services Department.
If this line is engaged you will be put through to an answerphone. Leave your name and number and we will call you back as quickly as possible.
For all emergency situations call 999.
If you think a child or young person under the age of 18 has been or is being abused by a person in a position of trust, contact the County Council's Allegations Officer.
Safeguarding children and promoting their welfare is the responsibility of all healthcare providers.
The safeguarding team in Hampshire have worked closely with the Wessex LMC to provide a wide range of safeguarding information to help GPs with these duties. These resources will also ensure that practices have the right processes in place to register with the CQC:
Children and young people are taken in to the care of the local authority (Hampshire County Council) when it is not in their best interests to remain with their family due to the risks of abuse or neglect. The arrangement can be voluntary with the family’s agreement (Section 20) in which case the parents retain full parental responsibility. There are also various orders that the local authority can use, for example interim and full care orders, where an equal share of parental responsibility is picked up by the authority. Children may occasionally live with their families while an order is in place, more often they are placed in foster care with another relative or with approved foster carers. Professionals should be aware of the complexities of consent for this group.
Children in care (also known as looked after children, LAC, or children looked after, CLA) are known to have significant gaps in their health care. They may have missed screening tests and immunisations, as well as surveillance and dental appointments. They also have high rates of missed appointments for specific services, for example, hospital outpatients. Wherever possible, these children and young people should have priority when health services are allocated to counteract the gaps created by their previous poor access to services, their increased health needs and the requirement to improve outcomes for this especially vulnerable group.
The children and young people will have an initial health assessment on entering care and then annual reviews if they are over 5 and 6 monthly reviews if under 5.
Health organisations should be able to identify children in care in their databases and the fact that a child is in care should be shared when children are referred between professionals. Health staff working with children should be aware of the professional competences for looked after children.
There is guidance on meeting the health needs of these children published by NICE and the Department for Health.
Where can I get advice regarding children in care?
In most organisations without specific children in care professionals, the safeguarding team is usually the first port of call for advice. Hampshire also has designated professionals based in NHS West Hampshire CCG who will be happy to offer advice if an issue cannot be resolved locally.