What are our overall aims?
In line with the NHS England Safeguarding Accountability and Assurance Framework (July 2022) as an Integrated Care Board we will ensure that:
- The organisations from which the ICB commissions services provide a safe system that safeguards children, young people, and adults at risk of abuse or neglect;
- We are fully engaged with Local Safeguarding Children and Safeguarding Adults Partnerships and Boards;
- We have robust processes in place to learn lessons from cases where children, young people and adults die or are seriously harmed, and abuse or neglect is suspected;
- We work in partnership with NHS England to ensure that the health commissioning system as a whole is working effectively to safeguard and improve outcomes for children, young people and adults at risk.
What’s our starting point?
As a statutory partner, the safety and welfare of children, young people and adults who access health and care services in Coventry and Warwickshire is of paramount importance to the ICB. We want to ensure that all children, adults, families and communities across Coventry and Warwickshire are safe and free from abuse and harm. Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and adults and protect them from harm, ensuring that prompt intervention is taken to enable all children, young people, and adults to have the best outcomes in relation to their health and wellbeing. The term ‘safeguarding’ describes a range of activities that all organisations should have in place to protect both children and adults whose circumstances make them particularly vulnerable to abuse, neglect, or harm. The ICB will make sure that those in need of protection are able/facilitated to access support and signposted to the right help at the right time.
Safeguarding across Coventry and Warwickshire is whole system approach that crosses all ages, places where people work and live, communities and systems. The ICB works collaboratively as a statutory partner with the Coventry Safeguarding Partnership (CSP), the Warwickshire Safeguarding Partnership (WSP) and the Coventry Safeguarding Adults Board (CSAB) to safeguard those members of our communities most at risk of harm and learn lessons from both statutory and non-statutory reviews to prevent future harm and increase awareness. The NHS England Safeguarding Accountability and Assurance Framework reflects the context for safeguarding as it continues to change and expand in response to the findings of large-scale inquiries; incidents; emerging challenges in a rapidly evolving and increasingly digitalised world such as modern slavery, human trafficking, radicalisation and exploitation; and new legislation aimed to strengthen protection of those at risk.
The ICB is fully compliant with the Safeguarding Accountability and Assurance Framework and will work to maintain our compliance across the five year period of this plan.
What are some of the key links to other parts of the plan?
Safeguarding is the golden thread that runs through all elements of the plan, ensuring the promotion of welfare and protection from harm of child and protecting an adults right to live in safety free from abuse and neglect.
What will we be focusing on in the next 2 years?
Working collaboratively with partners the ICB has agreed the following priorities:
- Ensuring that NHS organisations, including the ICB itself, are compliant with statutory guidance and legislation in the execution of their statutory duties.
- Ensuring safeguarding training, development and supervision programmes are in place, monitored and evaluated for all commissioned services.
- Ensuring arrangements for safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk of abuse or neglect are robust and fully integrated into existing clinical governance processes.
- Disseminating and monitoring and evaluating outcomes of all Safeguarding Reviews (Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews, Safeguarding Adult Reviews, Domestic Homicide Reviews and Offensive Weapon Reviews) and Serious Incident Learning Processes, to receive assurance that plans have been implemented and lessons learnt.
- Strengthening processes and systems to ensure effective contribution to partnership arrangements as a statutory partner.
The ICB is able to demonstrate that it has appropriate systems in place for discharging its statutory duties including an identified Executive Lead for safeguarding and designated professionals who have direct reporting access to the Executive. The ICB will remain focused on its commitment to the safeguarding agenda and will continue to further enhance collaboration with partners to ensure that we protect those who are the most vulnerable within our communities.
Coventry and Warwickshire Safeguarding Partnership Priorities
The ICB is a statutory partner in local Safeguarding Partnerships and Community Safety Partnerships and is committed to the ongoing work and priorities agreed through these. Some of the key priorities are:
- Tackling child sexual abuse;
- Core safeguarding;
- Prevention and early intervention;
- To be assured that safeguarding is underpinned by the principles of Making Safeguarding Personal and that adults are supported to achieve the outcomes that they want;
- Making the safeguarding system work;
- Domestic abuse;
- To prepare for and oversee the effective implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguards.
Serious Violence Duty 2022
The Serious Violence Duty ensures that serious violence is made a focus within existing multi-agency arrangements, such as multi-agency safeguarding arrangements or Community Safety Partnerships, and allows for collaboration between a much wider set of partners. The duty also introduces a requirement for local partnerships to establish their Local Problem Profile and produce a Local Strategy specifically aimed at preventing and reducing serious violence.
The ICB, as a responsible authority, will work in partnership to ensure that awareness of the duty is raised throughout all health and care providers and ensure contribution to the emerging Coventry and Warwickshire Problem Profile and Local Strategy. The Warwickshire Local Strategy has been launched and partners in Coventry are working to produce their strategy.
Coventry is a pilot area for the Offensive Weapons Homicide Reviews commencing in April 2023. Monitoring, disseminating and evaluating outcomes of all Safeguarding Reviews (Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews, Safeguarding Adult Reviews, Domestic Homicide Reviews and Offensive Weapon Reviews) and Serious Incident Learning Processes will be undertaken in all instances with regular learning development sessions held with all health and care providers across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Child Death Review Processes
A child death review must be carried out for all children regardless of the cause of death. As a statutory review partner for the child death overview process, the ICB will continue to work in collaboration with our partner agencies to ensure all modifiable factors are identified and explored, interventions are in place to protect other children and prevent future deaths, and to disseminate the learning from each death across the system.
National Referral Mechanism (NRM) Pilot
Warwickshire County Council was successful in their bid to the Home Office to participate in a pilot to devolve decision making for child victims of modern slavery. The ICB is a core member of both the strategic and operational groups for the NRM Pilot.
From February 2023, all NRM referrals completed by professionals for Warwickshire children are referred to a local multi-agency devolved decision making NRM Panel set up for the purpose of making decisions whether the children are victims of modern slavery. This is a positive step for young people in Warwickshire, bringing more effective and timely decision making by agencies known to the child and connecting them to local safeguarding and support. Our aim is to achieve decision making in under 60 days, compared to the current average of 437 days for conclusive ground decisions.
Response to Asylum Seekers and Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers
Providing safeguarding oversight in the response to asylum seekers and unaccompanied asylum seekers to ensure that their health needs are identified and met, whilst working with partners to identify any safeguarding concerns which may impact on their safety and the safety of others.
Children and Young People in Care
Statutory guidance (Promoting the health and wellbeing of looked-after children, March 2015) outlines the duty upon the ICB and NHS England to cooperate with requests from Local Authorities to undertake statutory health assessments and assist in ensuring support and services for looked-after children are provided without undue delay.
In Coventry and Warwickshire:
- Local Authorities, the ICB, NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will continue to co-operate to commission health services for all children in the area.
- The health needs of looked-after children will be considered in the development of the local Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and the local Health and Wellbeing Strategies. Both Local Authorities will continue to work within agreed local mechanisms with the ICB to ensure that they comply with NHS England’s guidance on establishing the responsible commissioner in relation to secondary health care when making placement decisions for looked-after children and to resolve any funding issues that may arise.
- Both Local Authorities will continue to work within agreed local mechanisms with the ICB to ensure that they comply with NHS England’s guidance on establishing the responsible commissioner in relation to secondary health care when making placement decisions for looked-after children and to resolve any funding issues that may arise.
- The Intercollegiate Document (Royal College of Nursing) describes the competency requirements of health practitioners undertaking the statutory initial and review health assessments. The ICB will continue to maintain oversight of the statutory health assessments completed by our providers through a robust quality assurance process.
ICB Safeguarding Team
The ICB is committed to improving outcomes for those most at risk from violence or abuse and has invested significantly increased resource into the ICB Safeguarding Team. This is in place to provide a safeguarding service across Coventry and Warwickshire and work closely with the Safeguarding Leads and teams across local health and care providers, and to collaborate closely with our safeguarding partners across the system. The Safeguarding Team ensures that local Safeguarding Leads are informed of both local and national developments, areas of innovation and learning from reviews via newsletters and the local Safeguarding Children and Adults Assurance Forum. The team’s forward plan not only focuses not only on maintaining commitment to and compliance with statutory duties but also on delivering innovative models of working to ensure better outcomes for the Coventry and Warwickshire population.