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Safeguarding children and young people: roles and competences for health care staff

7 April 2014

All health staff must have the competences to recognise child maltreatment and to take effective action as appropriate to their role. They must also clearly understand their responsibilities, and should be supported by their employing organisation to fulfil their duties. Chief Executive officers and independent contractors such as GPs, in particular have a responsibility to ensure that all staff across the organisation have the knowledge and skills to be able to meet this requirement.

The latest version of Safeguarding Children – Roles and Competences for Healthcare staff March 2014 jointly published by the Royal Colleges and professional bodies has been updated to emphasise the crucial role of the Executive Team and Board members, while also taking into account the structural changes which have occurred across the NHS. The framework is applicable across all four countries of the UK and sets the standards and requirements expected of all health staff.

During the review process a considerable number of suggestions from across a wide range of professional groups were received. The Framework was refined and the document restructured in light of comments received.

While the responsibility of ensuring staff have access to appropriate safeguarding training and  learning opportunities rest with healthcare organisations, the emphasis in the framework continues to be upon maximising flexible learning opportunities to acquire and maintain knowledge and skills, drawing upon lessons from research, case studies and serious case reviews.

The framework will be reviewed again in 2017.