How NHS England assures safeguarding in the NHS

NHS England’s safeguarding role is discharged through the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), who has a national executive safeguarding leadership role. The CNO is the Lead Board Executive Director for Safeguarding and has a number of forums through which assurance and oversight is sought. The system wide National Safeguarding Steering Group coordinates these forums and gains assurance on behalf of the CNO in order to underpin the Safeguarding Accountability and Assurance Framework.

During 2023 the new Integrated Care Board (ICB) Executive Chief Nurses will be taking executive accountability for statutory safeguarding across the NHS using their quality escalation process with NHS England Regional Chief Nurses and via their Joint Forward Plan with integrated care partnerships.

The NHS national safeguarding steering group (NSSG)

The NSSG works with a range of temporary and permanent subgroups that focus on key issues using a risk-based approach. Membership of the NSSG includes representation from designated/named professionals, regulators, professional bodies and arm’s length bodies (ALBs). Further information regarding the NSSG is available on our webpage.

The National Safeguarding Team in NHS England have devolved, shared leadership for safeguarding assurance to the regions in the form of Regional Safeguarding Leads.

The NHS regional safeguarding leads (RSL)

The role of the Regional Safeguarding Leads includes: