Safeguarding at Studholme Medical Centre

Studholme Medical Centres is committed to protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults and we will make their welfare a high priority.

Where additional support is necessary this will include working with other agencies such as Social Services and Police.

We have a Practice Safeguarding Leadership and Policies in place which cover:

  • Child Protection
  • Adults at Risk (Vulnerable Adults)
  • Domestic Violence
  • Information Sharing
  • Whistleblowing

Child protection

Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm.

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. An individual may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Neglect or abuse, physically, emotionally or sexually, can have major long-term effects on all aspects of a child’s health, development and wellbeing. Sustained abuse is likely to have a deep impact on the child’s self-image and self-esteem, and on his or her future life.

What our staff do if child abuse is suspected:

‘To do nothing is not an option’ – You must always tell someone if you come across or suspect an individual is at risk or is being abused.

Anyone who works, or has contact, with children has a duty to report actual or suspected abuse. This includes family, paid or unpaid carers, social workers and health workers, volunteers, managers and staff in private and voluntary agencies.

Adults at risk

Health care professionals have a privileged access through our role in caring for those individuals who may be vulnerable in society to the risk of abuse. It is our duty to be alert to this possibility and to be proactive in raising concerns, liaising with other professionals involved in the individuals care and if concerns exist, reporting this to the Surrey social services.

It is important to consider if other individuals may be at risk as well as the identified case.

Surrey Social services have a comprehensive policy and guidance.

The practice holds a register of vulnerable adults who are coded referral to social service for adult protection.

Who is a vulnerable adult?

A vulnerable adult is any person who is 18 years and over in need of community care or support services because of:-

  • Old age
  • Mental health issues
  • Physical disability
  • Hearing, seeing and/or communication disabilities
  • Learning disabilities
  • Inability to protect themselves against significant harm or being taken advantage of.
  • Long term illness/condition
  • Misuse of substances or alcohol

Types of abuse and what to look for

The following provides information about the different types of adult abuse and what to look for. We should all know about the main signs and symptoms that suggest that some form of abuse may have taken place. However, you should not suggest that a person is being abused because one or more of these signs and symptoms are present without more detailed investigation.

Abuse may be deliberate or be caused by poor standards of care, lack of knowledge, understanding and training. Abuse can happen anywhere. A person may be abused in:-

  • Their own home, where they live alone, with relatives or with others
  • Care homes
  • Nursing homes
  • Day centres
  • Workplaces
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Other places in the community

Physical abuse

Typical examples are:-

  • Slapping, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing
  • Unapproved use of physical restraint or restriction
  • Use of force or threat of force
  • Harsh manual handling (including inappropriate use of hoists)
  • Misuse of medication

Signs and symptoms

  • A history of unexplained falls or minor injuries especially at different stages of healing
  • Unexplained bruising in well-protected areas of body such as inside of thighs or upper arms, and so on
  • Unexplained bruising or injuries of any sort
  • Burn marks of unusual type such as burns caused by cigarettes, carpet burns and rope burns
  • History of frequent changing of General
  • Practitioners or the General Practitioner not being able to see the vulnerable person
  • Storing of medicine which has been prescribed for the vulnerable adult but not given
  • Malnutrition, ulcers, bed sores and being left in wet clothing

Psychological / Mental / Emotional Abuse

Typical examples are:-

  • Blame, insults, humiliation
  • Controlling, intimidation, bullying, harassment
  • Being stopped from seeing other people
  • Being locked away
  • Verbal abuse, swearing, threats, using tone and volume of voice to intimidate, body language
  • Denying the right of the person to make their own decisions

How to report suspected abuse of a vulnerable adult

‘To do nothing is not an option’ – You must always tell someone if you come across or suspect an individual is at risk or is being abused.

Domestic violence

As a consequence of Baby P there are initiatives in place to improve communication between professionals.

Police are now passing on case reports of domestic violence to health visitors; after they have been processed, they are then passed on to the relevant GP.

Health visitors review their own information, and annotate the reports with any actions they have taken. They do not review their clinical records.

We have developed a robust system for team meetings to discuss each report, and review the records of the patients involved, taking any action as necessary.


What is PREVENT?

Prevent is part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy that aims to stop people becoming terrorists. It is a multi-agency approach to safeguard people at risk of radicalisation. It looks at building a deeper understanding of how individuals become radicalised. This helps to identify ways of preventing people from becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism.

Typically, a radicalisation process includes exposure of an individual to extremist viewpoints that may eventually influence the person to carry out an act of violent extremism or terrorism. This could take weeks, months or even years. It is possible to intervene during this process and stop someone becoming a terrorist or supporting violent extremist activity.

Violent extremism is where people seek to justify or promote terrorism or encourage others to commit such acts.

What does this mean for us?

Extremism in itself is not illegal but we still encourage you to be aware of potential signs of it because it can act as a pathway to terrorism. Prevent does not aim to criminalise people for holding extreme views; instead, it seeks to stop individuals from encouraging or even committing violent activity.

We all have a role to play in Prevent within our organisation and community by helping people understand what the strategy aims to achieve.

How to raise concerns

  • Contact Surrey Police by dialling 101
  • Report your concerns anonymously to CrimeStoppers 0800 555 111
  • Call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321
  • If it’s an emergency, always dial 999

Safe Lives

Are a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for good. They combine insight from services, survivors and statistics to support people to become safe, well and rebuild their lives. Since 2005, SafeLives has worked with organisations across the country to transform the response to domestic abuse, with over 60,000 victims at highest risk of murder or serious harm now receiving co-ordinated support annually.

Safelives Website:

MARAC agency (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference)

Website information for those at high risk or in danger of their life:

ManKind Initiative

The ManKind Initiative was the first charity in Great Britain to support male victims of domestic abuse (registered in 2001). Since then, it has been at the forefront of providing services and support for male victims and campaigning to ensure that male victims receive the support they need from other organisations. Please see their website for details and connect information:

Date published: 15th December, 2023
Date last updated: 15th December, 2023