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HOSPITAL TRUST: More than 1,200 adult safeguarding incidents reported

HOSPITAL TRUST: More than 1,200 adult safeguarding incidents reported

The James Cook University Hospital, part of the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Image: Teesside Live

More than 1,200 adult safeguarding incidents were reported by a hospital trust in the past 12 months.

A total of 1,246 such incidents were logged by the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2020/21, which runs the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, and Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital, compared to 1,100 in 2019/20, a 13% rise.

Of these, 630 safeguarding adult concerns were subsequently reported to local authorities, up from 573 in the previous 12 months, a 9% increase.

The figures were revealed in an annual report produced by the trust, which said it had a statutory duty to promote safeguarding and the welfare of vulnerable patients of all ages, and it was “at the heart of what we do”.

It said despite the covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown periods, safeguarding investigations, including safeguarding adult reviews and child safeguarding practice reviews had continued.

The report said nursing and administrative staff within safeguarding teams, its ‘looked after’ children team and a learning disability nurse had maintained a high level of functioning.

It said: “The time saved by not having to travel to and from external meetings or supervision sessions created some additional capacity within the team and supported some members to be released into clinical areas to support direct patient care.”

In respect of safeguarding children specifically, it said there were restrictions on visiting wards and working practices had to be adapted so staff remained as “virtually visible” as possible.

Priorities outlined for the next 12 months included promoting increased awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM) and putting renewed focus on male partners and the significance of their role in caring for babies and young children.

The trust worked closely with the likes of Cleveland Police, Middlesbrough Council’s access safeguarding team and the Tees Valley Clinical Care Commissioning group, the report said.


Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter

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