mum drawing with young son

Adults at risk, children and young people

We work in partnership with Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Essex Local Safeguarding Adult Boards and Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships; our safeguarding policies are based upon those produced and managed by these Boards.

You can find our patient information leaflets at the bottom of the page.

Safeguarding children and young people

It might be difficult to accept, but every child and young person can be hurt, put at risk of harm or abused, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children’s health or development. It ensures children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care (view Working Together to Safeguard Children on the government's website).

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the health and welfare of all children and young people. We have a dedicated Safeguarding Children’s team, led by the Safeguarding Director, Assistant Director for Safeguarding and Named Midwife, Named Nurse Safeguarding Children and Named Doctor Safeguarding Children.

Child Protection

Child protection is a subset of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.  It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children and young people who are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.  We have a legal duty to protect children (view Children Act 1989 on

Our Trust is responsible for implementing policies, procedures and guidance based on the underpinning legislation and Governance Guidance.

Safeguarding Adults at Risk

Safeguarding Adults at Risk can include any work or activity that aims to support them to retain independence, well-being and choice. It also makes them able to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect.

It is about both preventing abuse and neglect and promoting good practice when responding to specific concerns.

Where abuse is suspected or alleged, then Safeguarding Adults Procedures can be used by organisations and services to make sure that a consistent and comprehensive response is provided.

Who is an Adult at Risk and what is Adult Abuse?

Some adults are less able to protect themselves than others, and some have difficulty making their wishes and feelings known. This may make them vulnerable to abuse. An adult at risk is defined as someone 18 years of age or over who is/or may be in need of community care services by reason of any of the following:

  • mental or other disability
  • age or illness
  • is/or may be unable to take care of him or herself
  • unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

Abuse is defined as: ‘a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons’.

Abuse may be physical or sexual, it may involve people taking money without permission, or not looking after someone properly.  It may include poor care practices, bullying or humiliating, or not allowing contact with friends and family.

Abuse can be a single act or may continue over a long period.  It can be unintentional or deliberate, but will result in harm to the victim, either physically, emotionally, financially or in its effect on the person’s wellbeing or development.

Every adult has the right to a life free of fear, be treated with dignity, and have their choices respected and not to be forced to do anything against their will.

If you have concerns for a child, young person or adult at risk

If you are worried that a child, young person or adult at risk is being abused, contact the Safeguarding Team on 020 8970 5719.

Office hours

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. 

You can also email but please note that this account is only monitored during office hours. 

If it is an emergency and you feel someone is in immediate danger, please contact the Emergency Services by dialling 999. If you feel your concerns are of a criminal nature, you can contact the Police by dialling 101.

Contact details for the Safeguarding Team Leads:

Safeguarding Children Declaration: August 2023

Safeguarding Children Declaration - August 2023

NHS organisations have a safeguarding duty under Section 11 of the Children Act (2004), that places duties on a range of organisations and individuals to ensure their functions and services, and any services that they contract out to others, are carried out with regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The duties under Section 11 are set out in Chapter 2 Working Together document (2018).

Organisations are required to have arrangements in place that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.

These include:

  • Clear lines of accountability for the commissioning and/or provision of services designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • A senior Board level lead to take leadership responsibility for the organisation’s safeguarding arrangements
  • Clear whistleblowing procedures, which reflect the principles in Sir Robert Francis Freedom to Speak Up Review
  • Clear escalation policies for staff to follow when child safeguarding concerns are not being addressed within their organisation or by other agencies
  • A culture of listening to children and taking their wishes and feelings into account in decisions about them as individuals, and about the development of services
  • Arrangements which clearly set out the processes for sharing information with other practitioners and with their safeguarding partners i.e. Local Authority, North East London and Police
  • A designated lead professional for safeguarding
  • Safer recruitment practices
  • Appropriate supervision and support for staff, including safeguarding training
  • Creating a culture of safety, equality and protection within the services they provide
  • Clear policies, for dealing with allegations against people who work with children

Health professionals are in a strong position to identify welfare needs or safeguarding concerns of individual children and where appropriate, provide support. This includes understanding risk factors, communicating effectively with children and families, liaising with other agencies, assessing needs and capacity, responding to those needs, and contributing to multiagency assessments and reviews.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) is committed to achieving and maintaining compliance with national safeguarding children standards to ensure that all patients, including 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. They will be supported and challenged by the Trust’s Safeguarding Strategic and Assurance Group, Safeguarding Operational Group, Safeguarding Audit Group and the Trust Board.

The Chief Nurse is the Trust Executive lead for safeguarding children. She is the chair of the Trust’s Safeguarding Strategic and Assurance Group which is held quarterly and reports to the Trust’s Quality Governance Steering Group, which in turn reports to the Quality Assurance Committee, a sub-group of the Trust Board. The Trust’s Director of Nursing, Patient Experience and Engagement & Safeguarding Director is the senior lead for safeguarding and the role includes deputising for the Chief Nurse at Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnerships meetings and at the Trust Safeguarding Strategic and Assurance Group. The Director of Nursing, Patient Experience & Safeguarding Director is the Chair of the Trust’s Safeguarding Operational Group.


The Trust has named professionals who lead on children’s safeguarding issues. Their roles are clearly defined. They have sufficient time and receive relevant support and training, to undertake their roles. This includes close contact with social and health care organisations.

There are a number of roles in the Safeguarding Children’s Team which include:

Named Doctor, Safeguarding Children

Named Nurse, Safeguarding Children

Assistant Director, Safeguarding and Named Midwife

Safeguarding Children Liaison Nurses / Child Death Review Key Workers

Learning Disabilities & Autism Nurses

Practice Development Nurse for Learning Disability and Autism

Safeguarding Advisor Harmful Practice (Children and Adults Team)

Deputy Named Midwives

Emergency Department Safeguarding Advisors

Safeguarding Office Manager (Children and Adults Team)

Safeguarding Children’s Secretary

The Assistant Director, Safeguarding and Named Midwife is line managed by the Trust’s Director of Nursing, Patient Experience and Engagement & Safeguarding Director on behalf of the Chief Nurse.

Systems and Processes

The Trust has an ongoing process to review and update its safeguarding children’s systems and processes and is committed to continuously improving to raise performance. An annual safeguarding children’s workplan is in place which is reviewed quarterly at the Trust’s Safeguarding Strategic and Assurance Group and Safeguarding Operational Group. 

The Trust meets the statutory requirements in relation to the disclosure and barring scheme checks and follows the NHS Employers Standard which includes extended checks for staff working with children and vulnerable adults.


The Trust’s Safeguarding Children & Young People (Child Protection) Policy and Procedure is based on the London Safeguarding Children Procedures 7th Edition 2022. It includes details on the roles and responsibilities of all members of staff, their required training levels, and the procedures to follow on different aspects of safeguarding concerns.

The Trust’s Policy for Supervision of Staff with Responsibility for Safeguarding Children & Young People (January 2023) sets out the arrangements to ensure effective supervision is provided for clinical staff.

Safeguarding Children Training

The Trust has a robust Safeguarding Children’s Training Needs Analysis and Strategy in place to meet the training needs of all staff groups, who require varying levels of training to fulfil their duties. This will depend on their level of contact with children and young people and/or their role in the child protection process. The Safeguarding Children’s Training Strategy and Training Needs Analysis are reviewed yearly.

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 4th Edition (January 2019).

The Trust’s safeguarding training is monitored at the Safeguarding Operational Group and risks reported to the Safeguarding Strategic and Assurance Group.

The Safeguarding Children’s Team have developed a training matrix which summarises the number of staff that will receive training to ensure that the Trust is compliant at all levels. This is monitored via BEST (BHRUT Education System Training), a web based tool to track staff training.

Staff have access to all multiagency training provided by our partner agencies and training dates are communicated to relevant staff.

Flagging Vulnerable Children

The Trust has a system in place for flagging children if there safeguarding concerns. All staff have access to advice from safeguarding professionals and there is an agreed process for referring children to social care.

The Trust continues to use the Child Protection Information System (CP-IS) to ensure that health professionals working in unscheduled care settings are alerted to key social care information for children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan, or identified as a Looked

After Child or an unborn at risk . This system supports clinical staff working in unscheduled care settings in their decision making process, and to encourage communication with social care.

The Trust implemented the Female Genital Mutilation Information Sharing (FGM-IS) within Maternity Services on 1st April 2018 and in the Emergency Departments and Gynaecology Services in April 2019. This system delivers the capability to share information as to whether a girl (under 18) is at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This supports frontline staff through the Trust to meet their local safeguarding responsibilities in preventing the girl from undergoing FGM.

Staff working in the Emergency Departments (Queen’s and King George Hospitals) utilise a Safeguarding Children Trigger Assessment Tool. This tool serves to aid identification of vulnerabilities of children at risk or at potential risk of harm. The tool enables staff delivering care to children at various stages of the child’s journey to explore if there are any safeguarding concerns and includes a process of escalation if any concerns are identified

Staff within the BHURT Integrated Sexual Health and HIV Service utilise a Safeguarding Proforma for all children (0-18) years which encompasses a serious of indicators of risk to alert practitioners to safeguarding concerns.

Safeguarding Children Audits

Safeguarding children audits are carried out on a yearly rolling programme which has been approved by the Trust’s Safeguarding Strategic and Assurance and the Safeguarding Operational Groups.

Results of the audits are presented Safeguarding Audit Group and exceptions are discussed quarterly at the Trust’s Safeguarding Operational Group and Safeguarding Strategic & Assurance Group.


The Trust Board takes the issue of safeguarding extremely seriously and receives safeguarding children reports from the Chief Nurse. Safeguarding children reports are also presented at the Trust’s Safeguarding Groups and at the Trust’s Quality Governance Steering Group and the Quality Assurance Committee.

Annual safeguarding children reports are also presented at the Trust Board by the Chief Nurse.


Matthew Trainer                                                                                Kathryn Halford, OBE

Chief Executive                                                                                   Chief Nurse


August 2023

Safeguarding Strategy 2021-2025

The Safeguarding Strategy 2021-2025 was produced following consultation with representatives from external stakeholders (both local and national) and patient partners, alongside staff working in all clinical areas of the Trust.

The Strategy consists of a poster that is displayed throughout the Trust, underpinned by a 12 page document which outlines:

  • The Trust’s vision and principles
  • How that vision will be achieved
  • Details of how we plan to achieve the Commitments contained within the Strategy
  • National guidance which underpins the Trust’s Safeguarding Strategy
  • How implementation of the Strategy will be monitored and evaluated

The priorities in the Strategy are to ensure its service users and staff are adequately protected and able to live free from harm, exploitation and neglect; these are:

  • Service User Engagement

The Trust commits to ensuring swift reporting of all safeguarding concerns which will be shared with service users where appropriate.

  • Think Family

Co-ordinated thinking around families, children and carers will be promoted to ensure their needs are met and the child’s voice is heard.

  • Harmful Practices

Protecting services users and staff from the risk of harm from all forms of harmful practice will be promoted Trust wide.

  • Empowerment and Advocacy

Service users and their families/carers will be empowered to engage in decision making about their care and treatment.

  • Bridging the Gap

The care needs of vulnerable young people will be supported as they move into adulthood.

  • Learning from Practice

Staff will be encouraged and empowered to identify their own learning needs and source learning opportunities available to them.

  • Responsive and Healthy Workforce

This priority has been updated to reflect the Trust’s commitment to ensure staff’s health and wellbeing is at the forefront of everything it does.

  • Learning Disability and Autism

The Trust and its Learning Disabilities Team will work with external partners to ensure excellent care and support for our services users with Learning Disabilities and Autism. This will be supported by the separate Learning Disability and Autism Strategy.

Safeguarding Strategy 2021-2025.pdf[pdf] 3MB

Safeguarding Strategy 2021-2025 Poster.pdf [pdf] 832KB

Learning Disability and Autism Service

Our Learning Disability and Autism team are here to support patients with learning disabilities and/or Autism and their care networks, before, during and after their hospital visit or appointment.

What we do

  • Support patients with learning disabilities during hospital visits or stays
  • Listen to, respect, and involve families and carers
  • Help patients with learning disabilities understand their healthcare and treatment
  • Promote the use of Hospital Passports
  • Ensure learning disability alerts are in place
  • Ensure hospital staff are aware of the individual needs of patients with learning disabilities
  • Check consent and mental capacity issues are considered
  • Check reasonable adjustments are made
  • Provide learning disability awareness training to hospital staff
  • Promote the use of easy-read information and Hospital Communication Books

More information about the Trust’s Learning Disability & Autism Service can be found on our help for people with learning disabilities and Autism page.

Dementia and Delirium Service

Approximately 25% of hospital beds will be occupied by patients with dementia at any given time. We want to make sure that these patients get the best care possible.

The Executive Lead for Dementia is our Chief Nurse, supported by a dedicated Dementia and Delirium team. The team works across all of our hospital sites to support the operational delivery of the national and local dementia agenda.

To contact a member of the team, please call our switch board on 01708 435 000.

More information about our Dementia and Delirium Service can be found on our Dementia and Delirium page.

Patient Information Leaflets

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