SASH is committed to protecting adults and children at risk.

We work in partnership with other health, social care and independent agencies to respond to safeguarding concerns. 

Safeguarding children

In July 2009 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report on their review of arrangements in the NHS for safeguarding children. In line with this report, SASH has worked to ensure that processes, procedures and policies with regard to safeguarding children are robust. SASH has developed a comprehensive action plan to further develop safeguarding arrangements throughout the hospital.

  • The organisation meets the statutory requirements in relation to disclosure barring service checks
  • Child safeguarding policies and procedures are robust, including the process for following up children who miss outpatient appointments
  • The rolling training programme continues to provide Level 2 and 3 child protection training to all eligible staff
  • SASH has a Board level executive director lead for safeguarding, as well as a named nurse, named midwife and named doctor all with clearly defined roles. A review was undertaken in April 2012 to ensure that safeguarding staffing levels continue to meet service requirements
  • The Board reviews safeguarding across the organisation at least once a year and has robust audit programmes to assure itself that safeguarding systems and processes are working

Safeguarding children encompasses a range of hospital presentations and non-presentations. Through our robust processes and well trained staff we are able to identify and appropriately manage physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect and work closely with members of the multi-professional teams across Surrey and Sussex to ensure that vulnerable children and families are identified and supported.
For further information regarding safeguarding children, or if you have a concern, please contact a member of the safeguarding team via the hospital switchboard 01737 768 511.

Mindworks Surrey provide children, young people, families and carers with information about services, advice and resources. It is a source of essential information, including how to ask for help in a crisis via the 24/7 crisis line.

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from harm, abuse and neglect.
An adult at risk as defined in The Care Act 2014 is an individual over the age of 18 who have care and support needs whether these are being met or not, is experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect and as a result of those care and support needs the person/people are unable to protect themselves from the risk or experience of abuse or neglect.

Who is most at risk?

Abuse can affect anyone, but particularly someone who is or maybe unable to protect themselves against abuse/harm/exploitation, for example:

  • Older people
  • Adults living with cognitive impairment
  • Adults suffering from mental ill health/disorders
  • Adults living with physical disabilities
  • Adults living with learning disability/difficulty
  • Adults who have an acquired brain injury
  • Adults who have vulnerabilities due to substance misuse
  • Adults who are homeless

Types of abuse

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional and psychological abuse
  • Neglect and acts of omission
  •  Self-neglect
  •  Domestic abuse
  •  Financial and material abuse
  • Discrimatory abuse
  • Organisational abuse
  • Modern slavery and human trafficking

Other harmful practices

  • Female genital mutilation
  • Forced marriage
  • Honour based violence
  • Cuckooing

Domestic abuse

Where abuse is experienced either involving family members or people with a personal connection, this will also be considered as domestic abuse, therefore often more than one type abuse may be experienced under the overarching definition of domestic abuse.
The Domestic Abuse bill gained Royal Assent in April 2021 which provides protection to millions of people who experience domestic abuse and strengthens measures to tackle perpetrators.

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SASH are working in partnership with East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services (ESDAS) and Surrey Safeguarding Partnership to provide a Hospital Domestic Abuse Advocate (HIDVA), who is based at the hospital and is central to the identification, supporting, prevention and protection of victims, and also educating and supporting the workforce to have a greater awareness and ability to prevent and protect victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
To contact the Hospital Domestic Abuse Advocate e mail:

Modern Slavery Statement

The NHS has a significant role to play in combatting modern slavery and supporting victims. But to do this we need to ensure that staff understand that modern slavery exists, and we need to ensure that staff are confident and able to both recognise the signs and indicators of both victim and perpetrators and know what to do.

From 1 November 2015, specified public authorities have a duty to notify the Secretary of State of any individual identified in England and Wales as a suspected victim of slavery or human trafficking, under Section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.   

What is Modern Slavery?

Slavery is a violation of a person’s human rights. It can take the form of human trafficking, forced labour, and bonded labour, forced or servile marriage, descent-based slavery and domestic slavery. A person is considered to be in modern slavery if they are;

  • Forced to work through mental or physical threat
  • Owned or controlled by an “employer”, usually through mental or physical abuse
  • De-humanised, treated as a commodity or sold or bought as “property”
  • Physically constrained or has restrictions placed in their freedom of movement

Our Organisation

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust provides emergency and non-emergency services to the residents of East Surrey, north-east West Sussex, and South Croydon, including the major towns of Crawley, Horsham, Reigate and Redhill. At East Surrey Hospital, Redhill we have 697 beds and provide acute and complex services. In addition, we provide a range of outpatient, diagnostic and less complex planned services at The Earlswood Centre, Caterham Dene Hospital and Oxted Health Centre in Surrey and at Crawley and Horsham Hospitals in West Sussex.

The NHS has a significant role to play in combatting modern slavery and supporting victims. But to do this we need to ensure that staff understand that modern slavery exists, and we need to ensure that staff are confident and able to both recognise the signs and symptoms of both victim and perpetrators and know what to do.

Our Commitment to Prevent Slavery and Human Trafficking

The Trust Board and all employees are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in any part of our business activity and in so far as is possible to holding our suppliers to account to do likewise.

Our Approach

Our overall approach will be governed by compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and the maintenance and development of best practice in the fields of contracting and employment and we will:

  • Work with local Integrated Care Systems and partners when reviewing the commissioning cycle for opportunities to ensure a robust approach.
  • Review our approach and publish an annual statement outlining the steps we are taking to tackle modern slavery.
  • Continue to ensure that our recruitment processes are highly mature, requiring practices that adhere to safe recruitment principles. This includes strict requirements in respect of identity checks, work permits and criminal records. These practices will extend to any employment agencies used by the Trust.
  • Our pay structure is derived from national collective agreements and is based on equal pay principles with rates of pay that are nationally determined. The Strategic Workforce Committee (SWC) will hold the organisation to account in adhering to these standards and practices.
  • Ensure our procurement processes provide assurance that organisations are taking relevant steps to adhere to the standards.
  • Make declarations and contractual provisions with existing healthcare commissioners to ensure they understand the Trust’s approach to the Act.
  • In the case of children and young people at risk, local Safeguarding Children Board multi-agency policies and procedures are followed.
  • All staff can access support in this regard by contacting the Named Safeguarding professionals

The Trust’s Whistleblowing Policy, which applies to all employees, consultants, contractors and agency staff who work for the Trust is accessible via the Trust’s intranet site. Alternatively concerns can be raised with the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending March 2023.