Safeguarding Children and Young People

This is an area of practice where GPs and their colleagues have been vulnerable to criticism. It is important to maintain a high degree of suspicion and to be alert for signs of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. The LMC’s view is that there is a clear legal and professional requirement for GPs to engage with and cooperate with local child protection procedures.

The LMC has agreed with the PCT that all GPs should:

  • Undertake a full day of initial training (Level 3) on Child Protection for those who have not previously had training
  • Undertake a half day upgrade to level 3 training for those who have previously been trained to level 2
  • Plus 12 – 16 hours of update training over 3 years

(Safeguarding training department administrator for enquiries regarding training courses- Donna Featherstone: 0191 3713526)

The LMC has worked closely with Named GP for safeguarding children to produce a model practice policy on safeguarding children based on: SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE A Toolkit for General Practice (2011 revision) produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners and National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

County Durham & Darlington Safeguarding Children Policy Based on 2011 Toolkit

The practice management organisational indicators in the GMS contract specify that individual healthcare professionals should have access to information on local procedures relating to Child Protection. The NHS Safeguarding Children
are specifically for health staff covering roles and responsibilities, (GP specific information is at Section 11).

The NHS Procedures should be read in conjunction with Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and Darlington Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB) Child Protection Procedures which include:

  • Recognition of significant harm – signs and indicators of abuse.
  • The legal framework for safeguarding children.
  • Multi-agency roles and responsibilities.
  • The Child Protection Process:
    • Strategy meetings.
    • Child protection conferences.
    • Core Groups.
    • The framework for assessment of Children in Need
    • Specialist information such as how to respond where there are concerns regarding fabricated and induced illness.

The Durham LSCB Procedures can be accessed at:

The Darlington SCB Procedures can be accessed at:

A child protection lead in each practice may be a helpful way of ensuring that all statutory and professional standards are met by the practice although this is not a requirement.

In practical terms the key areas of responsibility for each practice are that all staff:

  • are adequately trained in safeguarding children
  • know the local procedures that are in place and how to access them
  • know how to recognise when a child is at risk of harm
  • know who to call for further advice or to notify if a child may be at risk or where there are concerns about a child.

Further information and advice may be obtained from your local Named GP for Child Protection:

CCG Name Telephone Email
Darlington Dr Kirsty Walker
North Durham Dr Barbara Gallwey 01207 272272
Durham Dales, Easington & Sedgefield Dr Naomi Hopper 01388 817777

Your Named Nurses for Child Protection are:

Locality Name Telephone Email
Darlington Sue Hairsine 01325 735050
Derwentside Marie Baister 0191 387 6366
& Chester le
Kay Bickle 0191 387 6365
Durham Dales / Sedgefield Lesley
01388 455776
Easington Trina Holcroft 0191 569 2941
Durham Dales / Sedgefield Gillian Worland 01388 452275

Other relevant documents are:

Children Act 2004

Every Child

BMA Guidance and

Guidance for GPs Providing CPC Reports

Protocol for Health Staff Working with Sexually Active Young People

Many thanks to Diane Richardson and other members of the local child protection team for their help in writing this page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *