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Seminar: Understanding current approaches to the prevention of child sexual abuse in healthcare settings - Day 2

27 September 2017
Healthcare professionals discussed how to prevent child sexual abuse in healthcare settings at day two of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s seminar today.

Representatives from a range of organisations, including the Department of Health, the Health Inspectorate Wales and the Royal College of Nursing, talked about subjects including the barriers that prevent staff or patients and families from speaking up about concerns and listening and acting on the voice of the child or young person. There were also observations from the public gallery.

The seminar will help the Inquiry understand the extent to which current practices protect children from being sexually abused and consider ways to ensure that children are better protected from sexual abuse in the future.

Professor Ursula Gallagher, deputy chief inspector and lead nurse from the Care Quality Commission, said the culture of health organisations does not always make it easy for staff to raise any concerns they might have about another member of staff. “It is clear across a whole range of issues, including child sexual abuse, that staff don’t believe that they will be well enough supported,” she said.

Moya Sutton, senior safeguarding lead for NHS England, said ensuring the leadership is visible and accessible to all members of staff was important in allowing those with concerns to speak up.

“Actually talking to your staff and making them feel they can talk to you is incredibly powerful,” she said. “There is just something about really making the culture one that is open and honest and encouraging bravery, encouraging courage.”

Today’s discussions will be taken into account by the Chair and Panel as they formulate recommendations to ensure children are better protected from sexual abuse in the future.

The Inquiry also invites individual victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to consider sharing their experience through the Inquiry's Truth Project.

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