The NHS Commissioning Board Authority has published interim advice on the developing accountability and assurance framework that will clarify roles and responsibilities for safeguarding children, young people and adults within the reformed NHS.

The advice entitled Arrangements to secure children’s and adult safeguarding in the future NHS, is designed to inform and assist care commissioning groups and the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) in their decisions regarding structures, capability and resources in the next phase of transition.

The publication is reflective of the Government’s commitment “to ensure continued improvement and the development of effective arrangements to safeguard and promote children’s welfare…”. Although the advice focuses mainly on safeguarding children, the main principles will equally apply to safeguarding vulnerable adults.

The advice sets out:  

  • The statutory duties for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHSCB and local authorities in relation to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. For example, these three bodies will be statutorily responsible for ensuring that organisations they commission services from provide a system that safeguards children and vulnerable adults  
  • CCGs need to demonstrate as part of their authorisation that they have appropriate systems in place for discharging their safeguarding responsibilities  
  • Guidance for CCGs in relation to funding the costs associated with the safeguarding system  
  • Advice on considering capacity to fulfil safeguarding duties and putting in place appropriate arrangements for securing this  
  • Duties of the NHSCB and an explanation of the way it will operate
  • Key partners the CCGs and the NHSCB will work with to fulfil their statutory duties in relation to safeguarding  
  • Further work to be done in order to produce the full accountability and assurance framework for safeguarding children and adults in the NHS

The interim advice is expected to be replaced by a more comprehensive document in the autumn. We will of course update readers regarding any new publications.