Safeguarding: protecting children and adults at risk from abuse or neglect.

The aim of the safeguarding professionals is to ensure that commissioned services promote and protect individual rights, independence and well-being and secure assurance that the child or adult thought to be at risk, stays safe.  Also that they are effectively safeguarded against abuse, neglect, discrimination, embarrassment or poor treatment.

All NHS commissioned services have a key role to play in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults at risk of harm, as safeguarding is everybody’s business.  Safeguarding children is a statutory duty under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 and in accordance with government guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’. The framework for Adult Safeguarding was set out in the Care Act in 2014 which came into effect in April 2015.

Read the  multi-agency policy, procedure and practice for working with adults at risk of abuse or neglect in Hertfordshire.

View the Safeguarding Adults PowerPoint presentation here.

Protecting vulnerable adults from harm is everybody’s business. As you go about your day-to-day business, remember that abuse or neglect can happen to anyone, anywhere. Abuse might take place over a long time, or be confined to just a single incident. The abuser could be member of staff at a care home or a hospital, a carer or friend at a day centre, or relative in the family home. They might not even realise their behaviour is causing harm to another person.

 Regardless of the situation and persons involved – you must act if you suspect harm is being caused to a person at risk.

 Abuse can be…

  • Physical – including assault, hitting, pushing, slapping, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions
  • Domestic - including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse and so called ‘honour’ based violence
  • Sexual – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting
  • Psychological – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks
  • Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relations to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • Modern Slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude
  • Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion
  • Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital, care home, or in relation to care provided in person’s home. May range from one off incidents to on-going ill treatment.
  • Neglect and acts of omission - including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
  • Self-neglect – a wide range of behaviour neglecting care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding
  • Female Genital Mutilation (child risks and adult at risk) 

Safeguarding adults

The procedure produced by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) is used by public agencies and by private and voluntary services in Hertfordshire to protect vulnerable adults from abuse.

The HSAB is made up of representatives from each of these voluntary and statutory member agencies, such as the Police, health services and the county council.

The latest version of this procedure can be found on the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board website.

Domestic abuse

If you are suffering or concerned for someone else as a result of domestic abuse – there are three important steps you can take:

  1. Recognise that this is happening to you (or the person you are concerned about)
  2. Accept that you (or the person you are concerned about) are not to blame
  3. Get help and support


Working in partnership with Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline 08 088 088 088 – free and confidential, 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm weekends www.hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org

In the event of imminent risk of harm, always dial 999.

Are you a victim or think you know someone is a victim of domestic abuse? Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is here to help.  

The first step is to talk.

The Helpline provides a confidential and free-to-caller support and signposting service for anyone affected by domestic abuse. 

The Helpline is a charity which has been operating in Hertfordshire for 16 years.  In that time it has built up a wealth of knowledge regarding support agencies for victims of domestic abuse.  We can refer callers to around 177 agencies, mainly in Hertfordshire but also national agencies.

We receive calls from victims and perpetrators of both sexes, concerned friends and family and professionals.  Our well-trained call takers aim to offer callers a supportive response and detailed referral information relevant to each individual’s situation.  

Calling the Helpline does not show up on phone bills and we do not take your personal details.  We work in Partnership with Herts Sunflower Service.

Web: www.hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org

Telephone: 08 088 088 088 9am to 9pm weekdays and 9am to 4pm at weekends.  

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facebook: Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline Facebook page

In all cases be careful to cover your tracks online.

If you or someone you know is in immediate risk of harm always dial 999.


Hertfordshire's Domestic Abuse Strategy 2016/19

This Strategy sets out how all the agencies with a responsibility for preventing and tackling domestic abuse will work together to break the cycle of abuse.

Modern Slavery

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has introduced changes in UK law focused on increasing the transparency in supply chains and ensuring our supply chains are free from modern slavery (that is slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking). As both a local leader in commissioning health care services for the population of west Hertfordshire and as an employer, Herts Valleys CCG provides the following statement in respect to its commitment to, and efforts in, preventing slavery and human trafficking practices in the supply chain and employment practices.

Our organisation

As an authorised statutory body, the CCG is the lead commissioner for health care services (including acute, community, mental health) in the west Hertfordshire area (including Watford, Dacorum, St. Albans & Harpenden and Hertsmere) covering a population of 639,566.

Our commitment to prevent slavery and human trafficking

The CCG Board, Senior Management Team and all employees support the Government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking and recognise the significant role the NHS has to play in both combatting it and supporting victims. We are committed to ensuring our supply chains and business activities are free from ethical and labour standard abuses and in so far as is possible to holding our suppliers to account to do likewise.

Our approach

Our overall approach will be governed by compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and the maintenance and development of good practice in the fields of contracting and employment.

Our policies and arrangements

Our recruitment processes are highly mature; requiring practices that adhere to safe recruitment principles. This includes strict requirements in respect of identity checks, work permits and criminal records. We pay all our employees above the minimum wage.

Our policies such as Bullying and Harassment at Work policy, Safeguarding Adults at Risk policy, Individual Grievance policy, Equality and Diversity policy and Whistleblowing policy provide an additional platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor working practices.

Our procurement approach follows the Crown Commercial Service standard.

In 2017/18 our anti-slavery programme will also work to:

•            Support our staff to understand and respond to modern slavery and human trafficking; the impact that each and every individual working in the NHS can have in keeping present and potential future victims of modern slavery and human trafficking safe.

•            Ensure that all NHS commissioned services staff have access to formal training on modern slavery and human trafficking which will provide the latest information and skills to deal with it.


Safeguarding children

We are fully committed to our responsibility for protecting and safeguarding children and young people. We have a number of designated safeguarding professionals who play a role in decision making. We also work in partnership with Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board (HSCB) which oversees policy development.

Our principal philosophy is that safeguarding is everybody’s business and all staff will respond and act to raise safeguarding awareness and address any emerging issues. This includes all commissioning intentions, services commissioned and contractual arrangements. The organisation will hold to account all provider organisations contracting with the CCG regarding their safeguarding responsibilities and processes. We ensure that commissioned organisations have safe systems that safeguard children in line with section 11 of the Children Act (2014), including; clear accessible policy and procedure, safer recruitment, training and governance systems.

Read the Multi Agency Safeguarding Adult policy, and our safeguarding strategy and training strategy.

Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

We are committed to partnership working and have taken all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and protect young people from harm, abuse and exploitation and are fully engaged with the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board. Our designated safeguarding professionals are involved with the board sub-groups and work closely with key providers including acute trust, community services and Mental Health Trust. We are also working closely with partner agencies to implement joint developments such as the recently implemented Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

More information

If you have any reason to suspect that a child is not being treated appropriately or their welfare is at risk contact:  

Find out more about  HALO – tackling child sexual exploitation together.

Find out more about the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.