What is Safeguarding Supervision and why is it important?

Safeguarding supervision is an opportunity for support, challenge and learning around safeguarding cases. We know that these cases can be tricky, stressful and emotionally draining. It is therefore important that we have access to conversations where we can seek ideas, signposting and advice about how to manage the case, particularly when what we have tried so far does not appear to be working, and to discuss how we feel about it from a personal perspective. Many of us have experienced trauma in our lives and safeguarding cases can trigger unpleasant memories and feelings. Having a safe space to talk is an important way to look after ourselves as well as the patients we care for. We also learn when being challenged to think differently about cases that have perhaps become a bit “stuck”.

 Supervision can be both formal and informal. Informal can be a conversation with a colleague at the end of a busy day. Formal can be a discussion in an multi-disciplinary team meeting (MDT) or Safeguarding meeting. GP Safeguarding leads should be the first port of call for practice staff to access supervision. If the safeguarding leads need additional support they can access ad hoc supervision and help from the ICB safeguarding team (somicb.safeguardingandcla@nhs.net for children and adults) or the GP advice line provided by children’s social care (0300 123 3078). The ICB safeguarding team also provide formal supervision to GP Safeguarding leads once a month on Teams and we would encourage all Safeguarding leads to make use of this from time to time as well as ensuring that their clinical teams make use of supervision opportunities within the practice.