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Safeguarding Assurance

Committed to safeguarding children and adults

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Trust Board are fully committed to providing the highest standards of safeguarding practice.

The Trust believes that everyone has a right to:

  • Live free from violence, fear and abuse
  • Be protected from harm and exploitation
  • Be independent - which may involve some risk
  • Say 'No' to anything they don't fully understand


The Trust considers that safeguarding is the responsibility of all staff, both clinical and non-clinical. The Trust will discharge its safeguarding duties and provide assurance of this to the CCG. All staff have a duty of care to share concerns about a patient or staff welfare if they believe they are suffering, or likely to suffer harm. Staff have mandatory safeguarding training on induction and repeated every three years.


Trust safeguarding documents


Link to website


Raising your concerns

If you are concerned a person is being abused or neglected, please call 01932 723513 or the Surrey Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0300 470 9100.

If you need help or advice please contact:


What is abuse?

“Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons”.

  • Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts
  • It may be physical, verbal or psychological
  • It may be an act of neglect or an omission to act
  • It may occur when an adult at risk is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent
  • Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it
  • Abuse may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent, negligence or lack of knowledge


What is significant harm?

‘Significant harm’ should be taken to include:

  • Ill treatment including sexual abuse and forms of ill treatment which are not physical
  • The impairment of, or an avoidable deterioration in, physical or mental health
  • The impairment of physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development


What is an adult at risk?

In March 2011 the Law Commission recommended that the term ‘vulnerable adult’ be replaced by ‘adult at risk’. This is because the term vulnerable adult may wrongly imply that some of the fault for the abuse lies with the adult being abused.


An adult at risk may therefore be a person who:

  • Is elderly and frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment
  • Has a learning disability
  • Has a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment
  • Has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
  • Has a long-term illness/condition
  • Misuses substances or alcohol
  • Is a carer, where the person meets the definition
  • Is unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support

This does not mean that just because a person is old, frail or has a disability they are inevitably ‘at risk’. For example, a person with a disability who has mental capacity to make decisions about their own safety could be perfectly able to make informed choices and protect themselves from harm. In the context of safeguarding adults, the degree of risk is related to how able they are to make and exercise their own informed choices free from duress, pressure or undue influence of any sort, and to protect themselves from abuse, neglect and exploitation.


Safeguarding children

Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015 states the Key Principles are:

  1. Safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility
  2. Child Centered Approach

All staff that comes into contact with children and young people have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote their welfare; all staff should know what to do if they have any concerns. This includes all staff that work predominantly or completely with adults. Even though a health professional may not be working directly with the child, they may be seeing their parent, carer or other significant adult and have knowledge that is relevant to a child’s safety and welfare.

A child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th Birthday and includes the unborn child (The Children Act 1989 & 2004).


Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young children is the process of:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children's health or development;
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances

(Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015)


Child protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

The prime concern at all stages must be the interests and safety of the child. Where there is conflict of interest between the child and the parent/carer, the welfare of the child is paramount.