Our vital stand against child sexual exploitation

England’s Chief Nursing Officer marks National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day and calls for pledges of support:

This is the first National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day and is rightly dedicated to raising awareness of this difficult and emotive agenda across all agencies.

Everyone who works in health and care has a significant contribution to make in identifying children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation and supporting the treatment and recovery of those harmed.

It is often nurses and other health and care professionals who are in a position to identify those children and young people most at risk.

Rebecca McGeown, Specialist Safeguarding Nurse for CSE at Lancashire Care Foundation Trust discusses her work in CSE and what you can do to identify those at risk. A useful resource to support staff is the NWG Network. Read more about the work of the NWG Network from Ray McMorrow, a Specialist Nurse with the NWG Network.

Through the work of NHS England’s CSE sub-group there are a variety of initiatives taking place including:

  • Pan Cheshire CSE Strategic Group, which includes representatives from NHS England, police and local authorities, launching their CSE strategy and toolkit.
  • Warrington CCG using the NWG Network website banner and suggested tweets to highlight the issue to GPs.
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals taking part in a series of four cross government workshops in relation to CSE, facilitated by DfE, Home Office and DH. These will focus on how local areas are tackling CSE, what works and what could improve.
  • The East Midlands NHS England Health and Justice team holding a commissioning engagement event to help take forward the commissioning of a regional Paediatric Sexual Assault and Referral Centre.

It is vital as nurses, midwives and health staff that we continue to listen to the voice of children and young people in order to learn from their experiences and improve the services we provide. Their voice is crucial in identifying those at risk of sexual exploitation and stopping this form of abuse.

Julie Warren-Sykes has provided a personal account of why all nurses and health staff should listen to what children and young people tell us.

As part of National CSE Awareness Day, I ask that you pledge what you can do individually and collectively as nurses and health staff, to support children and young people who are being sexually exploited.

Your pledge can be anything, from speaking out, to educating others. It is your promise to the children and young people affected by child sexual exploitation to protect and support them.

I will encourage all nurses, midwives and health professionals to listen to the voices of children and young people so that we may collectively stop this form of abuse.

What will you pledge?

  • Join the Twitter conversation about Child Sexual Exploitation: #CSEDay
  • Follow Jane Cummings on Twitter: @JaneMCummings
Jane Cummings

Professor Jane Cummings is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and Executive Director at NHS England.

Jane specialised in emergency care and has held a wide variety of roles across the NHS including Director of Commissioning, Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive.

In February 2004, she became the national lead for emergency care agreeing and implementing the 98% operational standard. She has also worked as the nursing advisor for emergency care. In January 2005, she was appointed as the National Implementation Director for ‘Choice’ and ‘Choose and Book’.

Jane moved to NHS North West in November 2007 where she held executive responsibility for the professional leadership of nursing, quality, performance as well as QIPP, commissioning and for a time Deputy Chief Executive Officer. In October 2011, she was appointed to the role of Chief Nurse for the North of England SHA Cluster.

She was appointed as Chief Nursing Officer for England in March 2012 and started full time in June 2012. Jane is the professional lead for all nurses and midwives in England (with the exception of public health) and published the ‘6Cs’ and ‘Compassion in Practice’ in December 2012, followed by publishing the ‘Leading Change, Adding Value’ framework in May 2016.

Jane has executive oversight of maternity, patient experience, learning disability and, in January 2016, became executive lead for Patient and Public Participation.

She was awarded Doctorates by Edge Hill University and by Bucks New University, and she is a visiting professor at Kingston University and St George’s University, London.

She is also Director and trustee for Macmillan Cancer Support and a clinical Ambassador for the Over the Wall Children’s Charity where she volunteers as a nurse providing care for children affected by serious illnesses.

Follow Jane on Twitter: @JaneMCummings.

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