Coronavirus (COVID-19) – information for Partners
The East Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership (ESSCP) supports all partners in their response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We aim to provide updates and signposting to guidance and resources relevant to partners, and to highlight the emerging safeguarding concerns arising as a direct result of the pandemic.
The threat the country is facing from coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving by the day and is placing residents of all ages across East Sussex in a position of real vulnerability. Isolation and reduced face to face access to family, friends and support services increases the risk to vulnerable children and families.
In these unprecedented times we ask everyone to continue to be vigilant with regards to safeguarding, identifying and reporting any concerns if you feel that a child is at risk or is experiencing abuse or neglect.
If you have concerns about a child, please contact Single Point of Advice (SPoA):
01323 464222 (Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm)
Out of hours, with serious concerns that can’t wait till the next working day, contact our Emergency Duty Service. 01273 335906 or 01273 335905 (Monday to Thursday 5pm to 8.30am, after 4.30pm on Fridays, weekends and bank holidays).
Or email: 0–19.SPOA@eastsussex.gov.uk
In an emergency, where there is an immediate risk to a child, call 999
During the pandemic we are continuing to work closely with our colleagues in the East Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board (ESSAB). If you have a safeguarding concern about a vulnerable adult, please contact Health and Social Care Connect
0345 60 80 191 (open 8am to 8pm 7 days a week including bank holidays)
Or email: Health and Social Care Connect
We will be updating these pages regularly with new information as it becomes available:
Agencies are ‘open for business’ so do please contact them if you have any concerns-
Brief partner updates:
Children’s Services are continuing to work with vulnerable children, young people and families across East Sussex. Prioritising essential services and supporting families during the pandemic, whilst also exploring digital ways of working and minimising the health risk to staff. Key safeguarding functions will continue and the service is monitoring staffing levels daily in order to identify any risks across the system.
Schools remain open to accommodate vulnerable children and children of key workers only. There are daily briefings between the Director of Education and the schools. Schools are addressing how they can maximise resources efficiently to support vulnerable children including working with other local schools.
Sussex Police advise that functions continue to operate as normal although much of the business has moved to the virtual space where appropriate and possible. As a general note, police are responding to the new legislation with regards to reducing social gatherings and movement, the police approach is based on 4 E’s – engage, explain, encourage and as a last resort enforcement.
Health services at this stage services across the system are operating as normal. Clinical practitioners across the health services may be redeployed to frontline health care facilities to meet the demand of increased pressure on hospitals. This may include paediatricians who may be asked to support clinical work with adults.
The ESSCP has adapted its approach to business as usual in line with government recommendations, as outlined here. We have been working with the Safeguarding Adults Board to develop updated information and signposting, and both the ESSCP and ESSAB thank all partner agencies for their hard and dedicated work in the current challenging circumstances. Reg Hooke, Independent Chair of the ESSCP, commented;
‘The next few months will present new challenges to the organisations in our partnership, which I know will be handled in a professional and efficient manner by all, however I would ask all agencies to be vigilant in recognising and responding to potential additional safeguarding demands arising from the pandemic.’
‘I and the ESSCP team will continue to focus on Practice Reviews, the risks associated with the current changes and raising awareness of those risks. We are keen to reaffirm our support to frontline services and schools and if there are any partnership challenges resulting from single or multi agency system changes, and where direct contact between agencies has not resolved things, please do get in touch’.