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Everyone has the right to live a life free from harm and abuse. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, and aims to protect people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enable them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It can take many forms for example people can be financially, emotionally, sexually or physically abused among others. 

Those most in need of protection include:

  • Children and young people
  • Adults at risk, such as those receiving care in their own home, people with physical, sensory and mental impairments, and those with learning disabilities.

It is the responsibility of every NHS-funded organisation, and each individual healthcare professional working in the NHS, to ensure that the principles and duties of safeguarding children and adults are holistically, consistently and conscientiously applied; the well-being of children and adults is at the heart of what we do.

As commissioners of local health services, CCGs need to assure themselves that organisations from which they commission have effective safeguarding arrangements in place.

As a CCG we ensure our designated experts (for children, children in care and adults), are embedded in the clinical decision-making of the organisation, as well as having the authority to work within local health economies and partnerships to influence local safeguarding practice.

Safeguarding is a shared responsibility, requiring effective joint working between agencies and professionals of different roles and expertise. As a CCG we are committed to working with key partners to improve the safety of children and their families and to safeguard vulnerable adults. Through partnership working we can identify risks, share information and collaborate to reduce the risk of harm to vulnerable people.

All CCG staff have a responsibility to take appropriate action when they know or suspect a child or adult may be a victim of abuse or neglect.

How to raise a safeguarding concern

If you think you or someone you know is being abused, or neglected you should report it. You can get support with this if you wish from someone you trust such as a friend, a teacher, a family member, a social worker, a doctor or healthcare professional, a police officer. If you are not sure what to do you can always seek advice.

If you feel someone is in immediate danger contact the police - call 999

If you have concerns for the welfare or safety of a child you should contact the children’s social care department in the area in which the child is resident

For further information you can access the local safeguarding children partnership websites:

Children’s Social Care – East Riding of Yorkshire

 01482 396559

out of hours 01382 241273

Children’s Social Care North Yorkshire                                                            

01609 780780

Children’s Social Care York

01904 551900

Out of hours Emergency Duty Team (North Yorkshire and York)

01609  780780

Police Vulnerable Persons Unit                        


North Yorkshire safeguarding children 

City of York safeguarding children 

East Riding safeguarding children 

If you have concerns for the welfare or safety of an adult you should contact the adult social care department in the area in which the adult is resident

Adults Social Care – East Riding of Yorkshire

01482 396940

Out of hours                             01377 241273                       

Adult Social Care North Yorkshire                                                           

01609 780780

Adults Social Care York

01904 555111

Out of hours Emergency Duty Team (North Yorkshire and York)

01609 780780

For further information you can access the local safeguarding adult board websites:

North Yorkshire safeguarding adults

City of York safeguarding adults 

East Riding safeguarding adults


Mental Capacity Act

Mental capacity is the ability to make a specific decision at the time one needs to be made, in some adults this capacity may be impaired.

There are incidences where someone has to make a decision for or on behalf of another person. It could be about a simple or complicated matter, either way it must be in line with the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005.

Who does the Act apply to?

The MCA applies to anyone aged 16 or over. It is the statutory framework used to protect and empower persons with impaired capacity. It is also an important safeguard to protect human rights.

Healthcare professionals have a duty to practice in line with the requirements of the MCA and its code of practice. The lead for this work is our Chief Nurse, Michelle Carrington.

Commissioned services must demonstrate that they apply the MCA and must train its staff to apply and operate in line with the five statutory principles of the MCA. These are:


A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity.


A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help them to do so have been taken without success.


A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because they make an unwise decision.


An act done, or decision made, under this Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in their best interests.


Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person's rights and freedom of action.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2009 (DOLS) is an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They provide a legal framework to protect people aged over 18 in circumstances where care or treatment can only be delivered in a way that deprives them of their liberty - for example where someone who lacks capacity attempts to leave hospital or a care home and they are stopped from doing so.

Where do DOLS apply?

The safeguards apply to people in a hospital or care home setting and to individuals who do not have the mental capacity to consent to their own treatment or care arrangements. An example would be a person with dementia that needs treatment and care but repeatedly attempts to leave the facility where this is being provided.

When are DOLS necessary and how are they authorised?

Currently when it is considered that the safeguards may be required an application is made by the care home or hospital manager to the local authority DOLS team. The local authority instructs a number of assessments to be completed before any authorisation is approved. The Chief Nurse is responsible for ensuring that all commissioned services have appropriate processes and training arrangements in place for relevant staff.

What to do if you think deprivation of liberty is occurring?

If you believe someone that is receiving care or treatment in a hospital or care home is being deprived of their liberty you should discuss the matter directly with the manager of that service immediately. If it is not possible to provide the care or treatment in a less restrictive way, the service may need to make a DOLS application.

DOLS is an important safeguard to protect the rights of vulnerable people. If you have concerns you should raise these with the local authority DOLS team.

City of York Council DOLS

North Yorkshire County Council DOLS

East Riding of Yorkshire Council DOLS

Slavery and Human Trafficking

Our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement can be accessed here.

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