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Success for new Devon safeguarding nurse service

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A new specialist adult safeguarding nursing service in Devon is to be extended after being hailed a success for improving immediate- and long-term patient safety.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust wants to extend the service to cover the whole of eastern and northern Devon, following a successful 12-month pilot involving four nurses.

The service was trialled in north, east and mid Devon from October 2013 to March 2014. Dedicated safeguarding nurses investigated safeguarding alerts or issues and supported care homes with education and guidance to improve care standards and reduce the risk of alerts in the future.

In east and mid Devon, nurses Amanda Sampson and Caroline Holt worked as part of the Devon County Council adult safeguarding team, while Sarah Winfield-Davies covered the north of the county. They were overseen by community nurse manager Michele Baxendale-Nichols.

Stella Doble, deputy assistant director of health and social care for both the trust and Devon County Council, said: “The role of the safeguarding nurses has been able to demonstrate improved outcomes − and the ability to deliver robust safeguarding investigations, interventions and advice to support and improve care within care homes.”

She added: “The service highlights the benefits of providing a service that combines support for the safeguarding process… and investigatory role of the safeguarding nurses, with advice and preventative work to improve quality and reduce the number of safeguarding alerts.”

The project has received the backing of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group.

  • Pictured above are Caroline Holt, Michele Baxendale-Nichols, Sarah Winfield-Davies and Amanda Sampson.
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