Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 50 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 2.84 All NHS practitioners have a role in protecting the public, and all regulated staff in NHS Boards and services have duties to protect the public. This section describes some key roles and responsibilities within a wide spectrum of NHS services. All health staff, practitioners and services should: • be aware of their responsibilities to identify and promptly share concerns about actual or potential risk of harm to a child from abuse or neglect, in line with national guidance and local policy • be aware of the early signs or indicators of neglect, and engage promptly and proportionately in co‑ordinated multi-disciplinary or agency assessments • work collaboratively with agencies who have statutory functions for specific aspects of child protection, namely social work services and Police Scotland • be alert and responsive when children are not brought to health appointments, and consider what, if any action they are required to take (as opposed to applying a ‘did not attend’ policy without question) • prioritise the needs of the child and ensure practice is underpinned by the principles and values of the GIRFEC National Practice Model • be alert to other factors which may contribute to risk of harm, and which may be a barrier to receiving preventative health care. This could include poverty, disability, culture, lack of understanding or fear of public and formal systems • consider the potential impact of adult alcohol and drug use, domestic abuse and mental ill health on children, regardless of care setting or service being accessed by adults • when engaged, work collaboratively with the lead professional (usually a social worker) who is responsible for co‑ordinating and overseeing a multi-agency child’s plan • consider the need for a Lead Health Professional when multiple health services are involved within a child’s plan, particularly when a child has multiple and/or complex health needs • seek to ensure and contribute to planned and co‑ordinated transitions between services Chief/Consultant/Lead Nurse for child protection 2.85 The most senior nurse responsible for child protection holds a strategic role. They must support the Board in delivering high-quality, safe and effective services that promote wellbeing, early intervention and support for children and their families. The Chief/ Consultant/Lead Nurse for child protection must be a registered nurse or midwife. They should have expertise and experience in child protection and professional leadership. 2.86 The Chief/Consultant/Lead Nurse should take a professional lead on all aspects of the health service contribution to safeguarding. They are responsible for ensuring that child protection procedures and workforce development policies are in place. The Chief/ Consultant/Lead Nurse has a key role in the NHS Board’s clinical and care governance processes for child protection. The Chief/Consultant/Lead Nurse may represent the Board within National and local and professional fora, including Child Protection Committees.