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Safeguarding Concerns and Alerts: Speaker Presentations

Chaired by Pete Morgan Chair of the Board of Trustees PASAUK this conference provided a practical guide to safeguarding vulnerable adults through improving process, policy and practice in safeguarding concerns and alerts in line with the NHS England 2015 Guidance and the Care Act 2014. 

Through national and legal updates, and practical case study sessions the conference looked at what should reported a safeguarding concern, training and educating frontline staff in raising concerns, when to involve the police, how to escalate concerns, and learning from concerns. 

Claire Crawley, Senior Policy Manager, Adult Safeguarding Department of Health opened the conference with a presentation on ‘Redefining safeguarding: what should be reported as a safeguarding concern?’ and discussed:

  • back to basics: what should and shouldn’t be reported under Safeguarding concerns?
  • implications of the Care Act 
  • moving forward

In her presentation Claire Crawley began by saying; "good practice, multi-agency sharing, working together is a much harder challenge in times of lean that we're in now compared to times of plenty."  Clare focused on the Six Principles of Adult Safeguarding:

  • Empowerment -Presumption of person led decisions and informed consent.
  • Prevention -It is better to take action before harm occurs.
  • Proportionality – Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
  • Protection -Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  • Partnership -Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  • Accountability -Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

Claire paid particular attention to Empowerment, she said; "do your staff from top to bottom know how to identify and respond to signs of abuse and neglect is there leadership in place to act?" on Prevention, Claire said; the aftermath of abuse and neglect is damaging beyond belief.  We need to put prevention systems in place and improve peoples ability to protect themselves, being aware of the coditions abuse and neglect flourish in."

Claire finished by saying; "going forward I would like to concentrate on prevention, and do people really understand on the ground the implications; things they really need to be aware of."

Claire is a social worker/social work manager by background. She began working in social care in 1973. She has worked across all groups and settings. Her last operational job was as a senior manager in Birmingham SSD. She spent 2 years (1992-94) as Deputy Director of the Social Services Management Unit at the University of Birmingham. She then joined the Social Services Inspectorate in London as an inspector. The SSI was at that time a part of the Department of Health. After 5 years she moved to a policy team in the Department of Health as a professional advisor. Since 2003 she has been a mainstream civil servant. She has had a number of lead policy roles that have covered things such as carers’ policy, assessment, care management, commissioning, direct payments, pandemic influenza planning and law reform. She currently leads a small team working on adult safeguarding policy and the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Claire Crawley, Senior Policy Manager, Adult Safeguarding Department of Health Full Presentation Click Here


Helen Hipkiss Deputy Director Nursing and Quality NHS England followed with a presentation on ‘Safeguarding Alerts: Implementing the new NHS England policy’ and discussed:

  • safeguarding people when they are vulnerable
  • implementing the NHS England guidance on Safeguarding Alerts for adults
  • the role of the National Safeguarding Steering Group in monitoring compliance
  • how does it feel for service users to be subject to a safeguarding alert?

In her presentation Helen discussed the importance of patient confidentiality and information governance in safeguarding.  She continued by discussing implementation of the NHS England guidance on safeguarding alerts including the process and template.

Safegurading resources are available on the NHS England website at 

Helen is a Senior Health Service Manager, with over twenty years NHS experience and joint working with social care. Helen originally joined the Safeguarding National Team as Governance Lead, where she ensured the delivery of the safeguarding programmes. Helen has a track record of effecting change, including reducing CAMHS waiting times, developing clear standards for looked after children health services and improving outcomes for elderly patients through a multiagency intermediate care team. Her background in safeguarding started in vulnerable adults facing delays in their discharge, over her career she has overseen safeguarding in both CAMHS and looked after children services. At the SHA Helen was the strategic lead for Child and Adult safeguarding, she lead on ensuring the lessons learnt from SCRs and DHRs where embedded into local practice. Helen has been involved with a number of high profile cases, helping and supporting health colleagues under media scrutiny. In her role in the regional team Helen had responsibility for ensuring local teams meet their statutory duties for safeguarding and delivering the requirements of the Accountability and Assurance Framework. Helen is the chair of the National Safeguarding Group for MCA and DoLs. You can follow Helen on twitter @Bonnetray.

Helen Hipkiss Deputy Director Nursing and Quality NHS England Full Presentation Click Here

The conference continued with presentations on:

  • Safeguarding Alerts, Investigation, Report Writing and the Law
  • Evidence informed practice in managing concerns about adults at risk
  • Training and educating frontline staff in effective safeguarding practice and empowering frontline staff to issue safeguarding concerns
  • Safeguarding Alerts: Escalating safeguarding concerns and complaints in health services
  • Working in partnership with the police on serious safeguarding concerns and criminal offences
  • Safeguarding Enquiries - or should that be Safeguarding Investigations?

Future conferences of interest:

Self Neglect and Adult Safeguarding
Tuesday 2 February 2016 
Thestudio Conference Centre, Birmingham


Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Ensuring Compliance & Moving towards a new system of 'Protective Care'
Tuesday 19 April 2016 
Hallam Conference Centre, London


Masterclass: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Wednesday 4 May 2016 
Hallam Conference Centre, London


Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults: Improving Adult Safeguarding Practice, Decision Making & Outcomes
Tuesday 17 May 2016 
ICO Conference Centre, London


27 January 2016


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
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