Inspiring Innovation: the health response to child abuse in Greater Manchester

Andrew Rowland
Inspiring Innovation: the health response to child abuse in Greater Manchester
24 July 2015

THE Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Salford University jointly hosted the second Empowering Practice and Inspiring Innovation event on child abuse at MediaCityUK today, which was sponsored by NHS England.

The aim of the event was to discuss and modify the health response to child abuse in Greater Manchester. Over 50 delegates with expertise in child protection attended. The event was organised and co-hosted by Professor Andrew Rowland, Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine, and Dr Sue Smith, Head of Safeguarding at the Trust.

Key speakers and chairs included Kath Evans, Head of Patient Experience: Children, Young People and Maternity at NHS England; Ann Coffey MP, Member of Parliament for Stockport; Lisa Cooper, Deputy Director of Quality and Safeguarding (Cheshire and Merseyside), NHS England; and Gulwali Passarlay, a young influential Afghan undergraduate.

Professor Rowland created the concept of the Empowering Practice and Inspiring Innovation events after launching his report, Living on a Railway Line[1], which looked into how different countries tackle child abuse, in particular sexual exploitation, and how the UK can benefit from this learning. The Real Voices[2] report by Ann Coffey MP also inspired the event.

The co-hosting of today’s event puts The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Salford at the forefront of empowering practice and inspiring innovation around the health response to child abuse in Greater Manchester.

Professor Andrew Rowland, Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Honorary Professor at the University of Salford, said:

“This workshop has been supported by some fantastic and influential speakers. It was aimed at driving forward changes in professional practice at the front-line, so that we can better protect children from significant harm and recognise earlier those who have suffered from abuse.

“If a number of professionals make even a small change in their personal practice, over time children will become better protected and supported. My report, Living on a Railway Line, shows it is communities that are best able to protect children from exploitation and other forms of abuse and that we can all do more to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.”

Dr Sue Smith, Head of Safeguarding at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

"There is so much that health professionals want to learn to protect children and young people from abuse. This is evident from the response we have had to the 'Inspiring Innovation' workshop.

“It is also reflected in the response to the powerful drama that was presented by GW Theatre Group to professionals at this Trust in July. The drama, 'Somebody's Sister, Somebody's Daughter' tells the tale of a young girl who falls victim to grooming and sexual exploitation. The superbly crafted script and simple staging combined with the talent and skills of the actors and use of music and sound had huge impact on the audience of nursing, medical and allied health professional staff. Stereotypes were dispelled and the reality hit home leaving us all thinking about our own patients and our own families.

“In many ways the drama has a profound resonance with Professor Rowland's report. The two events provide a fresh and important perspective on the subject of child abuse”

Professor Tony Long, University of Salford said: 

“The University of Salford’s Children and Young People Research Group (CYP@Salford) is proud to support all innovatory partnerships in research and practice that seek to explore how to improve the lives of children that have been affected by abuse. This workshop brings together key players in child protection systems to explore new and effective ways of working together.”

[1] http://www.wcmt.org.uk/users/andrewrowland2014

[2] http://anncoffeymp.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Real-Voices-Final.pdf