NHS staff in Leeds raise awareness of how to keep vulnerable children and adults safe

Staff from across the NHS in Leeds are raising awareness of the role we can all play in keeping children and vulnerable adults safe.

As part of Safeguarding Week (June 24-30), teams from NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are focusing on the different forms of abuse and exploitation that can particularly affect vulnerable young people and adults and that may be masked by challenging behaviour. By helping people recognise the signs of child sexual and criminal exploitation, modern day slavery and human trafficking and radicalisation, they aim to ensure that NHS staff, as well as parents and carers, know what to do if they have concerns.

Jo Harding, executive lead for safeguarding at the CCG, said: “There is no ‘one size fits all’ way to identify someone who is at risk of or is actively being groomed for these purposes – and some of the signs may be mistaken for challenging behaviour, for example mood swings, secrecy and anger. Abuse and exploitation are incredibly hard for victims to talk about, especially with perceived authority figures. But NHS staff are in a unique position to see what others may not. We hope by reminding them to look beyond the surface of what they may be presented with, we can help keep our most vulnerable patients safe.” If you have concerns about a child or young person, contact 0113 2224403, or if you are concerned about an adults, call 0113 222 4401.