arrow_up-blue blog branches consultations events facebook-icon facebook-icon2 factsheet forum-icon forum hands key link location lock mail measure menu_plus news pdf pdf2 phone policies publications related search share subjectguide twitter-icon word youtube-icon
Safeguarding hero

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is relevant to all of nursing practice, in all settings, whether with children or adults.

Effective safeguarding is underpinned by two key principles:

  • safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility; for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part
  • professionals and organisations must work in partnership to protect children and adults in need.

These two key safeguarding principles are underpinned by the RCN’s Principles of Nursing Practice.
These eight principles encourage a proactive and empowering stance that is desirable in the prevention of safeguarding issues.

As a nurse, midwife, health visitor or HCA you are responsible for safeguarding those in your care and you must respond to any safeguarding concerns.

Here are the key stages to follow:

  • Identify safeguarding concerns.
  • Report the concerns – for most nurses, midwives, health visitors and HCAs this will be in conjunction with partner agencies and you should use organisational and local policies.
  • Participate in investigations, debriefing and (where appropriate) in developing a protection plan.
  • Reflect on the outcomes and learning.

You will need to check the relevant statutory guidance and legislation for the country where you work.

The RCN has published safeguarding guidance for adults and children and young people.

For more information on female genital mutilation (FGM) and published RCN guidance please visit FGM.

The role of the designated nurse for safeguarding children and young people in England

The Royal College of Nursing has published this position statement which clarifies the role and responsibilities of the Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children. The need for clarification is essential given the significant loss of expertise nationally and the subsequent challenge to effective succession planning. The role provides safeguarding, child protection expertise and leadership throughout health and multiagency partnerships. The role is distinct and should not be combined with other designated nurse roles or functions, for example vulnerable adults.

See: The Role of the Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children and Young People in England (2016).