Safeguarding is everyone’s business

Hilary Garratt, Director of Nursing for NHS England and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England sets out her aspirations for the fourth National Safeguarding Conference: Commissioning for a contemporary safeguarding system: values, legislation and practice.

I am constantly reminded how the newer priorities in safeguarding are becoming more prominent in all our lives and communities.

I only have to switch on the television and see the face of a victim of modern slavery, or think about the sight, smells, desperation and dreams of people in the Calais ‘Jungle’ to understand how the services we provide today and design for tomorrow should accommodate the needs of the most vulnerable people living in our society.

I am pleased to host the fourth National Safeguarding Conference, welcoming 250 expert colleagues to an event that will stimulate discussion and sharing of great things.

I want us to use this time to think through how we continue to ensure we use our leadership to support systems, organisations and individuals to be able to adapt and respond to national and global safeguarding issues by influencing policy and improving practice.

I would like us to think about how we ensure the values we embrace as safeguarding leaders based on care, compassion, commitment, courage, communication and competence, continue to shape services for the future. Furthermore, I would also like us to think how we, as safeguarding leaders, demonstrate how we lead change and add value to the outcomes and experiences of vulnerable individuals who often look to us for support to rebuild their lives.

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England will be the key note speaker today, setting the scene for us to think about how our role as safeguarding leaders will influence service design and transformation.

I am also delighted to welcome a variety of speakers from a wide range of partner organisations that will also help us to think about the next steps we need to take to improve practice. We will focus on issues from modern slavery, to policy reform, which we know will change the landscape of safeguarding across England.

I am excited to welcome Tim Campbell, MBE.  Tim won the first BBC Apprentice and founded the Bright Ideas Trust which works with disadvantaged young people, supporting them to get involved in enterprise. Tim’s experience highlights how working together, we can help vulnerable young people create a future by helping them to help themselves.

I am sure that by the end of this year’s conference, we will feel even more motivated to continue to work together to demonstrate our values based leadership that lead to safe services that improve people’s lives.

We all know that safeguarding is everyone’s business; follow the conversation on twitter and make sure you use the hashtag #NSGCon2017.

Enjoy the day.

Hilary Garratt

Hilary Garratt CBE, BSc, MSc, RGN, RHV, PGCE is the Director of Nursing in NHS England and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England.

Hilary leads a nursing and midwifery team in NHS England that focuses on a number of national statutory functions and professional development priority areas.

She is a registered Nurse and Health Visitor with over 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS. Hilary has held a number of director posts and a deputy chief executive post in both Commissioning and Provision and has been working at National Director level for the last four years.

From 2013 – 2017 Hilary also volunteered for BBC Children in Need and was a committee member that undertook grant making for the North of England. She is also a trustee of a charity, “Giving to Gambia” and enjoys working in the Gambia for a short time each year as a volunteer to support initiatives that improve health and wellbeing.

Hilary worked in the Calais refugee camp in 2016 and witnessed the reality of individuals, living through unimaginable trauma. She saw children being lured into the hands of criminals for want of a better life and seeing this first hand brought home the sheer importance of the NHS and other organisations across the health and care system working together to protect the most vulnerable people in society.

Hilary received a CBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours for services to nursing, particularly her work to safeguard some of the most vulnerable people in society

Follow Hilary on Twitter: @HilaryGarratt.