NHS England is dedicated in ensuring that the principles and duties of safeguarding adults and children are holistically, consistently and conscientiously applied with the wellbeing of all, at the heart of what we do.

NHS England fully supports the Government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking and recognises the significant role the NHS has to play in both combating it, and supporting victims. In particular, we are strongly committed to ensuring our supply chains and business activities are free from ethical and labour standards abuses.

Please see the full statement: NHS England slavery and human trafficking statement for 2015/16

NHS England National Safeguarding Steering Group

In order to fulfil our obligations we have the National Safeguarding Steering Group which provides leadership to all staff working in the health environment so that vulnerable children and adults who are at risk of physical or emotional harm, are identified and protected by all NHS health staff. We ensure people are supported and have access to health care and monitor their wellbeing.

The NHS England National Safeguarding Steering Group is made up of 5 sub-groups, 2 networks and 1 task & finish groups, providing specialised support for affected individuals. Areas we cover include:

Sub groups


Task and finish groups

Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect is a collective responsibility. Whilst individuals and organisations have distinct roles, the system cannot operate effectively unless the different individuals and organisations work together.

“The hand of safeguarding helps all children and adults who are at risk of harm or abuse. It touches the lives of children when it protects them from harm and neglect from wherever that comes; and it helps to provide them with all the chances needed to achieve the best a life can bring.

To vulnerable adults it brings kindness, respect, dignity and support however short the hand that life has dealt them, and it protects them from harm and misuse from all and any quarter.

It falls to us all in the NHS to give our hands to these endeavours.”

Dr Peter Green, Consultant in Child Safeguarding