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Safeguarding Support Unit


Safeguarding Unit waiting room

The Safeguarding Support Unit (SSU) is an outpatient facility at the main hospital site. The unit provides a full paediatric assessment to children and young people where safeguarding concerns have been raised or where the opinion of a specialist paediatrician has been sought.

Our service deals with physical, sexual and emotional abuse and where there are concerns of neglect.

The unit also houses the Children’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).


We provide a complete assessment which includes a consultation, comprehensive health check up and referral to other services if required.

Our specialists also assess children considered to have suffered or who may be suffering abuse or neglect.

SSU assessments can lead to early identification of additional needs so that appropriate referrals can be made for support and management for families.

Because of the expertise within the unit, we also do assessments for some gynaecological and other childhood conditions where there are no child protection considerations.

The team

The SSU team includes:

  • consultant paediatricians
  • named doctor for safeguarding children
  • designated doctor for safeguarding children
  • specialist nurses
  • named nurse for safeguarding children
  • support workers
  • psychologists
  • administrative staff

We have close working relationships with all disciplines and agencies involved in the care of children and young people.

Facilities and equipment

The unit has two consulting rooms, a psychology support room and a well-equipped examination room.

There are excellent play facilities and equipment for carrying out developmental assessments.


We accept referrals from social workers, police, health visitors, GPs and paediatricians.

Patient and parent feedback

A survey of more than 100 patients, carers and professionals showed:

  • 90% of parents and 97% professionals thought we explained things well
  • 88% of children and 93% of parents said the doctor listened well
  • 100% of professionals thought we put the patient / carer at ease
  • We were child-focused, welcoming and thorough

Quotes from the survey include:

  • ‘She was very very polite’
  • ‘The doctor spoke to my child well and made sure she knew what was going to happen’
  • ‘Very friendly and compassionate’
  • ‘She understood the whole picture of the child’s behaviour’
  • ‘I felt confident being here’

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