Dorset HealthCare is fully committed to ensuring that all patients and service users, including adults and children, are cared for in a safe, secure and caring environment, and that the risks of abuse and neglect are minimised. 

The Trust has comprehensive policies in place to help protect adults and children, including our Safeguarding Adults Policy and Safeguarding Children Policy, as well as the Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Policy.

We are also an active member of the Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Safeguarding Adults Board and the Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board. These Boards have been established to improve the practices which protect and safeguard children and adults in vulnerable circumstances. The Boards meet quarterly, and their work includes:

  • Developing strategies to reduce risk and prevent harm occurring to children and adults in vulnerable situations, as well as reacting effectively when it happens
  • Ensuring national policy and guidance are being adhered to locally
  • Determining local policy and procedures
  • Co-ordinating activity between agencies
  • Facilitating joint training
  • Ensuring good communication with the public and raising awareness of how to recognise and refer concerns about vulnerable children and adults being harmed
  • Monitoring and reviewing progress in safeguarding practices
  • Developing ways of working, which will improve ability to support residents across the community to live a life free from abuse
  • Learning from lessons where people have not been adequately protected.

The Trust takes part in Serious Case Reviews with partner agencies through the Safeguarding Boards whenever they are required. You can read more about Serious Case Reviews on the Safeguarding Boards' websites (see above).

To find out more about our commitment to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk, read our safeguarding declaration.


Safeguarding declaration

(Children, young people and adults at risk)

Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust (DHC) is fully committed to ensuring that all service users, including children, are cared for in a safe, secure and caring environment and that the risks of harm, abuse and neglect are minimised and the opportunity to enhance life chances are maximised. This declaration identifies the Trust’s commitment to safeguarding and protecting children, young people and adults at risk.

As a result, a number of safeguarding arrangements are in place including:

  • A robust governance structure – the Board level Executive Lead with responsibility for safeguarding is the Director or Nursing, Therapies and Quality.
  • DHC Safeguarding service is led by the Professional Lead for Safeguarding, who is also the named professional for safeguarding and a Service Manager who is the Named Nurse for safeguarding children. The Trust also has a Named Nurse for Looked after Children and a Named Doctor for Safeguarding Children.
  • There are internal DHC safeguarding groups including the Trust safeguarding group and the Safeguarding Everyone, Think Family group.
  • The Trust is fully represented and engaged in Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership arrangements for children and both Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset Safeguarding Adults Boards.
  • The Trust assures that there is appropriate representation at adult safeguarding working groups.
  • An annual Safeguarding report is received by the Trust’s Quality Governance Committee and Trust Board.
  • The Named Professionals lead on issues in relation to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk. They are clear about their roles, and have sufficient time and receive relevant support and training to undertake their roles, which include close contact with other social and healthcare organisations.
  • The Trust implements the DBS process to ensure safe and robust recruitment processes.
  • The Trust has a suite of safeguarding policies and guidance in place that meets the requirements of Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and the Care Act 2014. All policies and guidelines are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain relevant and fit for purpose and are aligned to the multi-agency policy and procedures.
  • The Trust has a safeguarding training strategy in place, in line with the Intercollegiate Document ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competences for Healthcare Staff’ (March 2019) and the ‘Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competences for Healthcare Staff’ (2018). The Trust’s Learning and Development Service have a training database for all staff and is maintained and regular compliance reports are provided to service managers, Directorates and the Trust Safeguarding Group.
  • The DHC safeguarding service offers safeguarding supervision on a mandatory basis to practitioners that hold a caseload of children.
  • The Trust has an internal quality assurance and audit programme that includes safeguarding to assure systems and processes are working effectively. Additionally the Trust Safeguarding Service takes part in multi-agency audits with partner agencies.
  • The Trust is committed to effective inter-agency information sharing, to ensure that children, young people and adults at risk are protected from harm, abuse or neglect and to ensure they receive the services they require. The Trust is a signatory of the Dorset Information Sharing Charter (2019) which enables partner organisations to share information safely and provide a more integrated service for residents.
  • The Trust fully participates in Multi-Agency Safeguarding arrangements.
  • The Named Professionals indicated below are fully supported by an internal Trust safeguarding service.

Acting Named Executive lead for Safeguarding – Cara Southgate

Named Professional Lead for Safeguarding – Alison Feher

Service Manager and Named Nurse for Safeguarding Children  – Abigail Harris

Named Nurse Service Manager for Children in Care & Care Leavers – Jenna Pitt

Named Doctor for Safeguarding Children – Dr Chrissy Boardman


Dawn Dawson

Acting Chief Executive

July 2021


Keeping you safe