NHS Safeguarding Award
NHS Safeguarding Award

The complete transformation of operations across the health and care service throughout covid-19 has highlighted just how much strain a large-scale disruption can put on the system, and how much work is required to ensure patients are treated in a safe environment.

Embedding a culture of protection and citizen safety in an organisation is important to help identify patients at risk of harm. Safeguarding is a mandated policy across the health service with clear guidelines on reporting. Staff must be able to look for signs of abuse or mistreatment without undermining the dignity of service users and organisations need to have channels open to colleagues in social services, police, educators, local authorities and patient representation.

This award recognises the teams working to ensure effective safeguarding across the NHS and excellent practice in reducing risk of disruption and maintaining patient safety and quality care in the face of disruption. Judges are looking for initiatives which can demonstrate effective protection systems for service users with requirements across a wide range of areas. Projects can focus on cases of rapid response and measures being carried forward to safeguard against future disruptions of any kind, including potential impacts of climate change and unforeseen adverse events. Case studies can also cover violence, abuse or harm; mental health, social care or domestic abuse; neurologic diversity and learning disabilities; equality, recruitment, training and leadership. Judges are particularly interested in multi-agency initiatives, work with the third sector and public sector collaboration.


Entries are welcomed from all NHS organisations and public sector health and social care bodies. Judges are looking for projects and initiatives which can demonstrably show holistic approaches to infection prevention and control and rapid adjustments to service delivery.


  • Describe the safeguarding landscape within your organisation including any relevant policy documentation, training initiatives and awareness campaigns
  • Identify why the initiative was necessary, giving clear statistics on the existing situation, and showing the problem being addressed or process being improved.
  • Describe the project or initiative, including an outline of the goals set, what checks and balances were in place, and how success could be measured.
  • Evidence how the team worked across organisations, department and sectors to define the approach.


  • Demonstrate a clear organisation-wide dedication to ensuring that the principles and duties of safeguarding patients at risk are holistically, consistently and conscientiously applied with the wellbeing of all, at the heart of what you do.
  • Show the results of your initiative, and the positive impact it has had on service user or citizen safety, supported by both qualitative and quantitative evidence.
  • Outline the impact on staff and their ability to recognise at-risk patients, providing testimonials to support these claims.
  • Evidence to what extent your initiative has enabled or enhanced an effective system of monitoring which involves sharing of information between organisations
  • What other benefits have been realised as a result of the project?


  • Demonstrate how data and information was communicated across organisations and stakeholders to enable effective safeguarding.
  • Show how your team have worked within your organisation to disseminate the success of this initiative. Are the achievements being replicated or scaled within other departments, specialisms or organisations?


  • Describe the processes put in place to enable staff to feel comfortable with managing and identifying problems
  • Outline the benefits to the stakeholder organisations or agencies created from the initiative such as reduced admissions, improved patient experience or better channels from cross organisational working.
  • Describe the benefits realised to the service user, in terms of dignity, quality of care and experience management
  • Provide clear feedback relating to the levied experience and the voice of victims / survivors of abuse, exploitation and violence.


  • Describe the dynamic of multi-agency involvement, including communication channels, design and implementation, systems and processes which are used to measure results.
  • Show how service users are involved in decisions around their care, how their views were embedded in the design of the initiative, and how their expectations were managed.
  • Provide clear evidence surrounding the consultative measures taken to inform, involve and enable participation from staff from all organisations in the implementation of the initiative.
  • Share how feedback has been captured from both service users and staff as the initiative has progressed, and what enhancements this has delivered.
NHS Safeguarding Award
NHS Safeguarding Award

To find out more

Contact Ryan Bessent for information on how to get involved with the Patient Safety Awards 2021 on 0207 608 9045 or email at ryan.bessent@wilmingtonhealthcare.com