Safeguarding information for GPs and primary care staff

If you work in Primary Care or are a GP this is where you will find all relevant safeguarding information. This information is only relevant to Primary Care staff and GPs in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The Integrated Care Board (ICB) Safeguarding team

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Team provides support and training for primary care colleagues. They arrange regular meetings with link GPs, provide training updates, host Q&A drop-in sessions and participate in a variety of policy groups and committees.

The team are happy to advise on safeguarding matters to clinicians. Please remember that they cannot offer urgent advice but are happy to talk through complex issues.

Any advice the Safeguarding Team gives is provided to assist you in your decision-making. You may still wish to liaise with your indemnifying organisation or seek further advice from your data protection officer.

Please email to get in touch with the Safeguarding Team.

Team members

  • Head of Safeguarding: Faye Kamara
  • Safeguarding Administrator: Daniella Daniels

Primary Care (all age)

  • Named GP for Bristol & North Somerset: Dr Ben Burrows
  • Named GP for South Glos & North Somerset: Dr Marie McVeigh
  • Named Nurse for Safeguarding Primary Care: Katie Thomas
  • Named Professional for Safeguarding Primary Care: Kristen Bowes


  • Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Adults (interim): Vaness Colman


  • Designated Dr for Safeguarding Children (Bristol & South Glos): Dr Emma Bradley
  • Designated Dr for Safeguarding Children (North Somerset): Dr Richard Williams
  • Designated Nurse for Safeugaruding Children: Toyah Carty-Moore

Children in care / looked after children and care leavers:

  • Designated Doctor for CiC/LAC: Dr Saraswati Hosdurga
  • Designated Nurse for CiC/LAC (interim): Nikki Ayres

Safeguarding Training

Training Requirements for Primary Care Staff

Level 3 staff (including PNs and GPs) need 8 hours for adults and 12 hours for children’s safeguarding over 3 years.

Link GPs with additional responsibilities need 16 hours for children’s safeguarding.

Summary of the training requirements for all primary care staff (RCGP)

Our recommended online training for 2023

With your address, you can register for free access to e-Learning for Health safeguarding modules for your ‘online learning’ component:

A blended approach to safeguarding training competencies

The Intercollegiate Document describes a blended approach to training and when looking at training and development opportunities these can comprise e-Learning, face-to-face training and multi-agency events.

Education and training at all levels should be at least 50% participatory. Participatory training involves a level of interaction.

Inter-professional and inter-organisational training is encouraged to share best practices, learn from serious incidents, and develop professional networks.

Examples of participatory education and training:

  • Attending face-to-face training
  • Group case discussion
  • Reflection on the learning from a case you have been involved in and how this learning has been applied to your practice.
  • Webinars
  • Attendance at safeguarding forums, for example, GP Practice Safeguarding Lead forums.

Examples of non-participatory training:

  • E-learning
  • Reading relevant safeguarding learning material such as guidelines or journal articles

Shared aspects of adult and child safeguarding training

There are several aspects of safeguarding training and education that can apply equally to child and adult safeguarding and share the same principles. Examples of this may include but are not limited to safeguarding ethos, confidentiality, information sharing, documentation, and domestic abuse.

For example, if a GP attended a one-hour Level 3 training session on domestic abuse that covered adult and child safeguarding issues equally, this would count towards one hour of adult safeguarding Level 3 training and one hour of child safeguarding Level 3 training.

Online training: e-learning

With your address, you can register for free access to e-Learning for Health safeguarding modules for your ‘online learning’ component:

Local Authority Training ‘multi-agency, interactive training’

All 3 local authorities in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire provide a variety of training courses for safeguarding adults and children. Some courses are virtual, and some are inter-agency and face-to-face.

All these courses are available to NHS primary care staff free of charge and can form part of your mandatory CPD hours for safeguarding training.

Please note that the traditional mandatory children’s safeguarding course is now called advanced child protection training, whereas the adult safeguarding training is divided into shorter topic-specific courses. There is no single all-encompassing adult course.



Use search term: “advanced child protection”

ICB training: safeguarding in primary care

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire  ICB provides a range of training opportunities. Meetings and courses are advertised online and emailed to practice managers and safeguarding Lead GPs on a regular basis.

If you would like to access any ICB-led training please email

2023 training offer:

Link GP meetings: quarterly, lunchtimes at 1 – 2:30pm. Next sessions:

  • Bristol 14 November 2023
  • South Gloucestershire 15 November 2023
  • North Somerset 17 November 2023

Informal GP Q+A drop-ins: monthly, lunchtimes at 1 – 2pm. Next sessions:

  • 25 September 2023
  • 25 October 2023
  • 21 November 2023

Level 3 safeguarding training: quarterly, mornings, 9am – 12pm.

  • Last session: Children’s level 3 – 8th September 2023
  • Next session: Adults level 3 – 13 December 2023

We also support training of GP trainees via VTS GP school.

Past training events: presentation slides and resources

Our training offer for 2024 will be advertised in November 2023.

Safeguarding podcasts and Lunch+Learn

To provide additional training materials and CPD opportunities tailored to local staff, we are planning to publish a series of podcasts in 2023 which will be aimed at primary care staff and cover a wide range of safeguarding topics.

We will also aim to deliver additional monthly Lunch+Learn sessions based on hot topics with expert guest speakers and recorded for online access at a later date for extra CPD.

We will publicise these new materials and events when they are ready

Practice safeguarding protocols

Children’s safeguarding practice protocol

The RCGP Child Safeguarding Toolkit provides busy practitioners with an easily navigable resource to ensure excellence in safeguarding practice in Primary Care. We highly recommend GPs work through this toolkit in full as part of your training and CPD.

CQC requires every practice to have a Safeguarding Children Protocol. The RCGP provides a template:

Deciding if a safeguarding referral is needed for your patient can seem like a complicated task. These NICE guidelines will help your decision-making:

Adults safeguarding practice protocol

The RCGP Safeguarding Adults at Risk of Harm toolkit provides information sheets, templates, and handy guides for all the primary care team. We highly recommend GPs work through this toolkit in full as part of your training and CPD.

CQC requires every practice to have a Safeguarding Adults Protocol. The RCGP provides a template:

Deciding if a safeguarding adult referral is needed for your patient can seem like a complicated task. These tools will help you with your decision making:

Writing a report and breaching confidentiality legally

Sections 44 and 45 of the Care Act 2014 outline the legal requirement to provide information to a Safeguarding Adults Board if requested to do so.

The following information sheets provide greater detail and advice:

The Medical Protection Society (MPS) website has further useful advice on report writing.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

The MARAC guide for GPs aims to clarify the role of GPs in relation to your local MARAC to support patients experiencing domestic abuse.

General Medical Council (GMC) guidance and toolkits for doctors

The GMC has produced guidance for practitioners outlining doctors’ responsibilities in protecting vulnerable patients. The decision tool is particularly helpful for navigating the complexities around referral decision-making.



GMC leaflet for parents:

RCGP coding guidance for primary care

Guidance from RCGP on processing and storing of safeguarding information in primary care:

“The coding and documentation of safeguarding information on a patient’s record is as important as the coding and documentation of any other significant medical issue such as cancer, diabetes, depression or learning disability for example. Safeguarding information needs to be immediately obvious on a patient’s notes to all health practitioners who may access those medical notes for the purposes of direct patient care. Suffering abuse or neglect is as threatening to the health and well-being of a patient as other major medical conditions are and therefore should be treated in the same manner. By coding and documenting this in the same way as we do other medical conditions, we highlight patients who are vulnerable and who are at risk which enables us to offer appropriate support.”

In early 2023 the National Network of Named GPs issued new coding guidance following a long process of consultation and rationalisation of SNOmed coding. The new codes have been issued now, and will be available within SystemOne and EMIS by June 2023.

NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG previously issued local guidance in 2018. The RCGP have guidance from 2017 and 2021.

Clinical guidelines and pathways

For clinical guidelines and pathways see the REMEDY website. REMEDY includes information on referrals, with detailed guidance and threshold documents.

This includes information on safeguarding and child protection referrals, with detailed guidance and threshold documents. It is important that safeguarding and child protection referrals are made to the local authority area in which the child lives.

Local policies available on REMEDY:

  • Injuries to non-mobile babies (2023 update)
  • Injuries to mobile infants and young children (2022 update)
  • Child was not brought (WNB / DNA) (2022 update)
  • Missing persons (coming soon in 2023)