The Designated and Named Nurses for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG introduced a General Practice (GP) Safeguarding Administrator’s Network. The network was established to improve communication, provide a peer support network and encourage collaborative working. This supported a more uniform process in the administration of safeguarding within local GP providers, reducing the previous unwarranted variation.
Where to look
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG have 103 GP providers, with a core Safeguarding Children Team providing support. The CCG Named Nurse wanted to support GP providers in sharing best practice and encouraging uniformity, enabling consistent processes and practice to address the unwarranted variation in the administration of safeguarding.
What to change
GP providers in the area had identified members of staff within their surgery who supported the Safeguarding Children Lead GPs with their administrative tasks. This included managing patient registers, arranging multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meetings and co-ordinating information required for child protection case conferences.
The CCG and providers recognised the Safeguarding Administrators as a valuable resource. However, it was also recognised that the working practices varied significantly between the GP providers and not all followed best practice. This unwarranted variation caused delays in providing safeguarding information to GPs and in some cases external partners.
How to change
The CCG Named Nurse established a Safeguarding Administration Network to enable conversations between staff across the GP providers – in particular, the unwarranted variation seen in practice. The network meetings were open to a range of staff, including administration, nurses, practice managers and GPs.
Colleagues were able to share experiences and better understand each other’s services, utilise experience and skills better and share best practice. It also supported them in raising the profile and benefits of the Safeguarding Administrator role. The network meetings enabled the participants to address areas of concern such as variance in safeguarding electronic coding, responding to Local Authority requests, and consistency of practice for MDT meetings and to improve processes and consistency with these across the surgeries.
Following the network meetings, a guide has been developed drawing on the processes that the safeguarding administrators have established, to consolidate best practice and promote consistency.
- Better outcomes – The network enabled GP providers to share best practice, identify unwarranted variation and to peer support effective safeguarding administrative functions which are key to robust safeguarding systems and processes. This new network provided staff with an opportunity to improve continuity of safeguarding practice and patient safety. One of the participating GP providers received an outstanding for safeguarding from the Joint Targeted Area Inspection.
- Better experience –The introduction of smoother processes and better communication was important because effective systems help keep children and adults safe from abuse and neglect. Staff experience also improved, as the Safeguarding Administrator role became clearly defined and more information was available to clinicians.
- Better use of resources – Sharing of good safeguarding administration led to a better understanding of surgery processes, utilising experience and skills more effectively. The development of a guide to share best practice promoted best use of resources available within and across practices.
Challenges and lessons learnt for implementation
Initially there was some frustration expressed by staff as they were unclear about how best to manage their roles. The enablement of peer support via the network helped to build confidence within the group.
For others wishing to develop similar networks, the key is to encourage the presence of dedicated administrators to share experience and build confidence with networks.
Find out more
For more information contact:
Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children