I have been a qualified GP since January 2000.
Over that time, I have been a GP partner for 14.5 years, a locum for 4 years and am now working as a salaried GP in a deprived area of Cheltenham. I work 2 full days a week in practice and 12 hours/week for the ICB as Named GP for Safeguarding Adults and Children (the 12 hours is a moveable feast, but I try to stick to working my ICB hours over 2 days).
I have always been passionate about safeguarding the more vulnerable in our society. I worked as a clinical assistant in Learning Disabilities for some years whilst a GP partner and have also had both personal and professional experience of a variety of safeguarding issues. I see safeguarding as being part of holistic care by a good General Practitioner. We have an invaluable insight into the families that we look after and a role to play in supporting the vulnerable.
My role as Named GP for Safeguarding at the ICB is to support my Primary Care colleagues with SG issues: be it questions about specific cases from a Primary Care point of view, access to and guidance about training issues, escalations regarding other agencies and from time to time to provide supervision. I am responsible for writing the Primary Care Independent Management Reports for Safeguarding Reviews (adults and children) and Domestic Homicides in which I am the GP’s voice. I also act as Primary Care’s representative at SG meetings at the ICB and with other agencies outside health. I am not a commissioner, but have in the past managed to secure some funding for Primary Care to undertake SG training. My main challenge, as with us all, is to meet the requirements of SG within the day job and to encourage colleagues to look out for the hidden vulnerable.