Highly skilled and enthusiastic new team members are set to enhance the work of the Safeguarding department at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).
The Trust is delighted that five new Safeguarding professionals have joined the team to support hospital and community colleagues to care for vulnerable patients.
Safeguarding is a hugely important part of the work of any health trust as vulnerable children and adults often pass through the system.
The new team members are Maureen Huddleston, Named Nurse for Safeguarding Children Looked After; Lisa Dorrington, Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for Safeguarding Children and Adults; Sarah Fergusson, CNS for Safeguarding Children and Adults; Sarah Wright, CNS for Safeguarding Children and Adults; Amy Davies, CNS for Safeguarding Children and Adults and Kath Gardner, CNS for Child Exploitation.
They have a wealth of experience in the Safeguarding of adults and children, nursing, health visiting and other disciplines.
They are eager to support colleagues across the Trust who may need advice and support with Safeguarding concerns. All say they have chosen to work in this role as they love working with patients and staff.
Jane Heath (left) and Liz Thompson
Jane Heath, Named Midwife for Safeguarding Children and Liz Thompson, Deputy Head of Safeguarding, said they were excited to be able to expand the Safeguarding team at UHMBT.
Jane said: “We’re delighted with our new Safeguarding colleagues. They will make a difference as Safeguarding experts as they will be able to support colleagues to give the best possible care to patients.
“They will complement the existing team of excellent Safeguarding professionals. It’s now a much bigger team and a lot of the work we do is in the background.
“The beauty of having more people is that we can be more visible on wards and in the community.”
Some of the new team members have come from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and others have moved from other posts within UHMBT or elsewhere.
Liz said: “Safeguarding is a team that can provide support and advice for all members of staff working at UHMBT. That includes children (and pre-birth) to adults. It’s cradle to grave.
“Safeguarding has developed over the years and we have put down some very firm foundations. We have worked with our colleagues in the acute (hospital) sector and are now also working with our colleagues in the community.”
Safeguarding in the NHS is defined as protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It is a key part of providing high-quality health and social care.
Sarah Fergusson said: “The Safeguarding team at UHMBT is known as a really good and supportive team to work with.
“The transformation that the Trust has undergone in recent years attracted me to this role. When you are all about people and championing people’s rights, you want to work for an organisation that does the same. It’s a fantastic prospect.
“Staff can pick up the phone and call us and we can give them reassurance that they are right on track.”
Maureen Huddleston said: “We have a lot of contact with staff. We’re here to support colleagues throughout the Trust and to guide them. We also act as a contact with outside agencies.”
New team members with some of the original team members
Amy Davies said: “Safeguarding is quite an analytical job as you have to make detailed assessments. It’s a challenging and fascinating role. I like it because I can make a difference to people.”
Sarah Wright said: “Safeguarding can be scary to some people. This can prevent people from digging deeper. We aim to be very kind and supportive when colleagues ring us up with concerns.”
Lisa Dorrington said: “We can make a real difference to people. Look out for us on the wards. Just call us!”
The Safeguarding team has team members in Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow covering the whole of the Morecambe Bay footprint.
As Safeguarding professionals, they also have to be aware to keep a look-out for children who may be “hidden”. Every time a vulnerable adult is identified they always check to see if that person has any children who may also need support. Police in Lancashire currently have a campaign called ‘Where is the Child?’ to alert people to this issue.
Team members also ensure that the correct information is being gathered to support the vulnerable child or adult.
When a child or adult is discharged home there is a rigorous procedure to ensure their safety.
The team members added that they were touched by the welcome they had received at the Trust.
Lisa explained: “We were all given a present of a mug full of goodies when we joined the team. We have been made to feel so welcome.”
Sarah Fergusson added: “The training that we have received from UHMBT has set the standard.
“I like the fact that there are Behavioural Standards and everything is backed by the chief executive. This makes a huge difference to patients.”
Mark Lippett, Head of Safeguarding and Professional Lead for Corporate Nursing, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome our new members to join our existing team so that we can evolve and take forward the delivery of our Safeguarding agenda and strategy.”