Bristol Safeguarding Team: Safeguarding Children GP Newsletter – Winter 2017/18


Following the winter Link GP meetings here is the latest newsletter which covers the issues discussed and other current issues. I have tried to use web links wherever possible, but there are one or two attachments.

Please have a look and cascade relevant information and attachments to your GP and nursing colleagues. There is a lot of information here – but remember reading it, reading the links and attachments and doing the eLearning is all CPD and all counts towards your recommended hours of safeguarding training!

1) First Response

First Response continues to be the single point of access for safeguarding referrals and referrals for Early Help. Professionals are encouraged to use the online referral form which has recently been updated to make it more user-friendly and to allow be completed form to be printed so that it can be scanned into the medical record.

All telephone referrals should be backed up in writing using the online form within 48 hours. It is now possible to use the form where it has not been possible or is unsafe to gain consent from the family for the referral.

First Response have started returning referrals to professionals if they feel there is insufficient information for them to make a decision on. Several referrals have been returned to GPs and copies of these rejections are sent to the safeguarding team at the CCG. Most of these referrals appear to be for Early Help rather than safeguarding referrals but the underlying issues are similar. In general referrals are giving insufficient background information about what impact the problems are having on the children in the family and what interventions have already been tried.
We are continuing to work with first response to try and improve the quality of referrals from general practice. We will incorporate training on making referrals to first response in our next round of level III training.

I am currently compiling a training pack abut referring to First Response for safeguarding and Early Help which I will send to all Link GPs to distribute to their teams.

In the meantime First Response have produced training materials on referrals which can be found here:

Most GPs now have access to connecting care and should use this as a first point of information when trying to find out if the child is already known to social care. Your practice managers can arrange access for clinicians to connecting care via EMIS

Further information should be obtainable from first response although I am aware that many professionals have had some difficulty in accessing information about past cases. I am working with the First Response management to try and produce clear guidance about information sharing.

GPs should continue to make referrals using the guidelines outlined in the Bristol referral thresholds guidance;
A draft of the updated version is now awaiting approval.

2) JTAI – Joint Targeted Area Inspection

In October, Bristol was the subject of a joint inspection by Ofsted, CQC, the inspector of constabulary and of probation. The main focus of the inspection was neglect. The full report can be read here:

A shorter briefing paper is attached (attachment 1). Many thanks to the practices that were involved in the inspection – several practices had cases that were chosen for in-depth analysis and others met the inspectors to discuss broader issues around safeguarding and neglect. The feedback from the inspectors was generally very positive about the performance of General Practices and about our safeguarding team. The online safeguarding handbook was praised (and now has a new chapter on neglect!)

Actions for us include improving referrals to First Response – see above- and improving communication with Health Visiting and School Nursing teams which we are working on.

3) MAPPA – Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements

David Miners, the co-ordinator of Avon and Somerset MAPPA attended the meeting to highlight this work managing the risks posed by violent and sex offenders living in the community. He is hoping to increase awareness of these processes in General Practice, to help protect patients and staff and improve the support given to the offenders to try and prevent re-offending.
Background information about MAPPA can be found here:

Contact details for further information are: Tel no –01278 646356 Tel no -01278 646358

As always, feedback and suggestions welcome.

Helen Mutch

on behalf of the Bristol Safeguarding Team

Jackie Mathers, Lindsey Mackintosh, Julie Henderson, Helen Mutch

January 2018

By: | 13th June 2018 | Newsletter attachment