Safeguarding Children and Adults




Partners and staff of Woodbury Surgery have a responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of children and vulnerable adults attending the surgery. This requires each member of the Practice team to acknowledge their own individual responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults.

As a Practice therefore, we ensure that:

  • all members of our team are aware of their individual roles and responsibilities in the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults
  • all members of our team follow approved procedures
  • all members of our team have access to child / vulnerable adult protection training

What is abuse?

There are many different types of abuse and many ways in which abuse can occur. The main forms of abuse are:

  • Physical abuse - Where a person is physically hurt, injured or killed. This can involve hitting, shaking, squeezing, burning and biting. It also includes giving poisonous substances, inappropriate drugs and alcohol, and attempted suffocation or drowning. In some cases, excessive force may be used when feeding, or changing a child's nappy.
  • Sexual Abuse - Where children (girls and boys) are sexually abused by adults or other children who use them to meet their own sexual needs. This might be sexual intercourse, and also includes fondling, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse, and exposing children to pornographic material - including videos.
  • Neglect - Where parents or carers fail to meet the basic and essential needs of a child or vulnerable adult, eg food, clothes, warmth and medical care. Leaving children alone and unsupervised is also an example of neglect. Parents refusing to give love and affection to their children is an example of emotional neglect.
  • Emotional abuse - Where constant lack of love and affection, or threats, verbal attacks, taunting and shouting can lead to a loss of confidence and self esteem, making someone become nervous and withdrawn.

What might make you worry? 

For example, a child or vulnerable adult who:

  • Is unusually sad, quiet or withdrawn
  • Never wants to go home
  • Frequently looks dirty and neglected
  • Displays inappropriate "seductive" behaviour
  • Has excessive or unusual bruising (particularly on fleshy parts)
  • Gives the general impression of being unloved and unhappy

Be aware that "vulnerable" individuals, whether children or adults, do not always communicate their anxieties or concerns in 'usual' ways, particularly if they have special needs or a disability. If you suspect abuse:

  • Do realise that your concerns could be significant and should be passed on
  • Don't ask leading questions - allow the person to tell their own story

Click here for further information on safeguarding