Below is an outline of the Medic Mentor Safeguarding Policy that all Mentors and Support Staff within Medic Mentor adhere to in order to ensure that we protect our young people within the organisation. If you are a parent, student, teacher, scholar or Mentor, please ensure that you have familiarised yourselves with our Safeguarding Policy.
Medic Mentor is a social education enterprise, fully committed to supporting young students into university to study Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinarian subjects. As a medical and educational organisation, safeguarding students and prospective students is paramount to us, along with the welfare of all children and young adults undertaking activities through Medic Mentor. The following policy is the commitment to Safeguarding from Medic Mentor.
Medic Mentor Activities Included in Safeguarding Policy
- Get Into Medicine (Dentistry and Veterinarian) Conferences
- Insight into Medicine
- Medical Leadership Teaching Days
- Scholar Training Days (For scholars deemed as vulnerable adults)
- Summer School
- Virtual Medical Society
- Campaigning and Fundraising initiatives
Named persons for safeguarding
Name of Safeguarding Lead – Gareth Anstice
Name of Deputy Safeguarding Lead – Dr Konain Ehsan
Name of Designated Safeguarding Officer – Dr Barrie Lyell
Telephone Number – 01530 417 299
Telephone Number of Children’s Social Work Service – Central Social Services (Nationwide coverage) 0808 196 2274
Emergency Duty Team Contact Out of Office Hours – 0808 196 2274 – Social Services National Coverage can also be contacted via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Recognising signs of abuse
Child abuse is quite rare however, it is important that all staff and volunteers understand the different forms of abuse that some children may experience and the signs and symptoms of such abuse. It is recommended that all staff that work with children and young people access training to help them not only identify but also act upon any form of abuse that they may identify.
There are four types of abuse which can cause long term damage to a child or young person. These are defined below.
PHYSICAL ABUSE: May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent/carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE: Is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or “making fun” of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, (including cyber- bullying) causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
SEXUAL ABUSE: Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non- penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
NEGLECT: Is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Possible signs of abuse include:
- Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries or the explanation of the cause of the injury is does not seem right.
- The child discloses abuse, or describes what appears to be an abusive act.
- Someone else (child or adult) expresses concern about the welfare of another child.
- Unexplained change in behaviour such as withdrawal or sudden outbursts of temper.
- Inappropriate sexual awareness or sexually explicit behaviour.
- Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally be expected.
- Difficulty in making friends.
- Eating disorders, depression, self-harm or suicide attempts.
Becoming aware of a safeguarding issue
There are many ways in which awareness of a safeguarding issue can come to light, the below list is not exhaustive, but can be used as a guidance. If you are suspicious of a safeguarding concern that is not in this list, please consult with your Designated Safeguarding Officer if you are unsure;
- a third party or anonymous allegation is received.
- a child or young person’s appearance, behaviour, play, drawing or statements cause suspicion of abuse and/or neglect.
- a child or young person reports an incident(s) of alleged abuse which occurred some time ago
a written report is made regarding the serious misconduct of a worker towards a child or young person.
What to do if you are concerned about a child
It is important that any allegations received are taken extremely seriously. Never think that someone else may be dealing with it. If you receive information that a child or young person may be at risk of, or experiencing harm make sure you follow the reporting safeguarding concerns procedure.
- Initially talk to a child/young person about what you are observing. It is okay to ask questions, for example: “I’ve noticed that you don’t appear yourself today, is everything okay? But never use leading questions
- Listen carefully to what the young person has to say and take it seriously. Act at all times towards the child as if you believe what they are saying.
- It is not the responsibility of groups to investigate incidences of suspected child abuse but to gather information and refer only.
- Always explain to children and young people that any information they have given will have to be shared with others, if this indicates they and or other children are at risk of harm;
- Notify the organisation’s Named Person for safeguarding (Designated Safeguarding Officer)
- Record what was said as soon as possible after any disclosure; the person who receives the allegation or has the concern, should complete a pro-forma and ensure it is signed and dated. The contents of the pro-forma should include:
- Date and time of notification
- Young person’s name
- What was said
- Actions to be taken (both internal and external actions – based on the issues raised in the allegation. Eg; Notify Manager/ Duty and Advice/ LADO)
- Respect confidentiality and file documents securely;
- The Named person(s) should take immediate action if there is a suspicion that a child has been abused or likely to be abused. In this situation the Named Person should contact the police and/or the Duty and Advice Team. If a referral is made direct to the Duty and Advice team this should be followed up in writing within 24 hrs.
NB Parents / carers will need to be informed about any referral to Children & Young people’s Social Care unless to do so would place the child at an increased risk of harm.
Management and supervision of staff and volunteers
It is important that all staff and volunteers have an opportunity to discuss with their line manager any safeguarding matter giving them concern and this is best done by providing regular supervision. The procedures indicate the supervision arrangements in place for your staff.
Allegations against staff
Any allegations made against a member of staff should be discussed with the safeguarding team, the Safeguarding lead, deputy lead and designated safeguarding officer.
If the allegation is about a lead person in Medic Mentor, then the matter should be discussed with the President of Medic Mentor.
The safeguarding team, or President must ensure that that the child/young person is safe and away from the person against whom the allegation is made.
Regardless of whether a police and/or Children Social Work Service investigation follows, an internal investigation should take place and consideration is given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve an immediate suspension and/or ultimate dismissal dependant on the nature of the incident and outcome of investigation.
The contact details of the Safeguarding team can be found on the first page of this Safeguarding policy.
Recording and managing confidential information
A form for recording concerns/allegations of abuse, harm and neglect is available on the Medic Mentor online document portal. This is a very simple form outlining name of child/young person, date of birth, date and details of incident. The person who receives the allegation or has the concern should complete and sign this form.
For GDPR and Safeguarding, any report raised regardless of outcome, needs to be kept securely at the Medic Mentor head office until the young person reaches their 25th birthday, following this birthday, the record will be securely destroyed, unless requested otherwise either by parent/guardian or social services. All records are stored securely in a lockable cupboard and in line with GDPR guidance.
Students can request a copy of any safeguarding report raised on them, in writing under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Parents/guardians may request a copy of any reports but on the receipt of written consent by the young person in question. Medic Mentor retain the right to deny permission of requests if it is felt the young person can be put at further harm releasing the information, even in the event of written permission of young person.
Distributing and reviewing policies and procedures
Medic Mentor will review the safeguarding policy annually, to be signed off by the Safeguarding and Management team. This will be completed every April.
A copy of the safeguarding policy can be requested by anyone with affiliations to Medic Mentor, this can include (but is not exhaustive) schools, colleges, universities, social services, parents and students.
There is a printed copy available for staff to review, new employees will be required to read and sign a disclaimer that they have read and understood the safeguarding policy, and their signature indicates full compliance and understanding of the safeguarding procedure. Breaches against the policy can result in termination of employment.
Responsibilities of managing committees
Medic Mentor’s safeguarding procedure has been approved by the management committee, who understand that they are ultimately accountable for all that happens within the Medic Mentor community, which includes the full implementation of the safeguarding policy. This accountability does not include social media contact groups (detailed further below)
Further responsibility includes:
· Provide written guidance to all staff and committee members – providing the safeguarding policy
· Ensure everyone understands their legal duties and responsibilities
Management committee have also:
· Developed a clear framework for behaviour management towards any children or young people
· Provide information about procedures to follow if an allegation is made
· Ensure all workers have training to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse
· Ensure that all lead staff have enhanced DBS checks.
· Have correct policies in place covering activities such as health and safety
· Understand what is good safeguarding practice and take responsibility for ensuring this is undertaken by all staff within your organisation
· Ensure all employees and volunteers understand that physical punishment or threat of physical punishment must never be used
Ensure that workers understand that verbal humiliation of children is unacceptable
Social Media Contact
Medic Mentor recognises the significant amount of young people utilising social media to keep in touch with other Medic Mentor students and the reaching power of being able to connect with students via social media. In order to comply with safeguarding and ensuring the safety of students connecting via social media, the policy extends as below;
- The inappropriate use of mobile phones and other electronic or media devices (including viewing/sending/distributing inappropriate images, extremist material or other harmful content) is strictly prohibited.
- Slack is where all of the Medic Mentor community keep in touch through various group channels. Students cannot be externally invited to Slack. All students on this platform have all registered and signed the social media consent form, so any student wishing to join this platform will also have to register.
- On submitting a request to join and completing consent forms, students and/or parents are also signing to state that they understand other Slack channel members can contact individuals privately away from the group chat. Medic Mentor is unable to accept accountability for any messages sent privately away from the group chat. However, if a student raises a complaint to Medic Mentor regarding unsolicited or uncomfortable contact from a member of a group, Medic Mentor will request evidence as part of an investigation which can result in the removal of an individual from Slack and all Medic Mentor programmes that the individual is enrolled onto (without a refund).
- We expect a level of professionalism on this platform. We have a zero-tolerance policy for obscene language and offensive/negative comments. Students using obscene language will be removed from Slack and all Medic Mentor programmes.
- Posting any post any information regarding non-Medic Mentor events on our Slack channels is strictly prohibited.
On submitting a request to join and completing consent forms, students and/or parents are also signing to state that they understand other group members can contact individuals privately away from the group chat. Medic Mentor is unable to accept accountability for any messages sent privately away from the group chat. However, if a student raises a complaint to Medic Mentor regarding unsolicited or uncomfortable contact from a member of a group, Medic Mentor will request evidence as part of an investigation which can result in the removal of an individual from group chats and all Medic Mentor programmes that the individual is enrolled onto (without a refund).
Student Code of Conduct
All Students and Parents are bound by these criteria whilst engaging in Medic Mentor activities.
Medic Mentor expects students to:
• to behave in a responsible manner that will help to foster mutual respect and understanding between all students, Medic Mentors and University/venue staff members
• to act within the law and not to engage in any activity or behaviour that is likely to bring Medic Mentor into disrepute;
• to behave and communicate in ways that do not unreasonably offend others. Examples of unreasonably offensive behaviour include using abusive or obscene language and engaging in any form of discriminatory or anti-social behaviour;
• to treat with respect everyone with whom they come into contact, whilst attending a Medic Mentor event
• to treat all Medic Mentor and the website with respect;
• to comply with requests of Medic Mentor;
• to adhere to the Medic Mentor’s and the website’s safeguarding, service agreement and privacy policies and to any specific requirements that apply to areas where Medic Mentor online events take place;
• to provide their Medic Mentor student ID card or other form of identification when asked to do so
Medic Mentor considers the forms of inappropriate conduct that are set out below, to constitute misconduct that is likely to lead to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct. However, the list should not be regarded as exhaustive.
1. Unacceptable behaviour arising from the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
2. The possession or use of illegal drugs.
3. Discrimination, harassment, or victimisation of others on the grounds of their age, disability, gender, gender re-assignment, pregnancy, maternity, race, religion, belief, or sexual orientation.
4. Failure to respect the rights of others to freedom of speech within the law, as required by s.43 of the Education Act (No.2) 1986.
5. Disorderly, threatening, bullying, or offensive behaviour or language whilst at a Medic Mentor online event, engaged in Medic Mentor virtual activity (including Slack), or using Medic Mentor online resources.
6. Any action that is likely to cause injury or impairment of safety at Medic Mentor online events.
7. Any behaviour that damages Medic Mentor’s reputation with its local communities, as evidenced by complaints from residents, residents’ groups, local representatives or the police.
8. Any behaviour that damages, or that has the potential to damage, Medic Mentor’s relationship or reputation with external organisations and groups.
9. Bullying or harassment of any kind towards a student, Medic Mentor or any other person on a Medic Mentor online event or activity, by any means including cyber-bullying, cyber-harassment, or harassment through social media, whether via Medic Mentor resources or via personal equipment.
10. Actions that involve making defamatory statements and/or false claims about a Medic Mentor or another student on a Medic Mentor course.
11. Damage to, defacement of, or misappropriation of, Medic Mentor property or the website, whether caused intentionally or recklessly.
12. Misuse or unauthorised use of Medic Mentor or venue premises and property, including computer misuse.
13. Recording Medic Mentor lectures, other academic sessions or conversations without the agreement of the person(s) involved, or with the express permission of Medic Mentor.
14. Failure to disclose details of personal identification to a Medic Mentor in circumstances in which it is reasonable to require that such information be given.
15. Theft, fraud, deceit, deception or dishonesty in relation to Medic Mentor and its students, or while on Medic Mentor-related activities. Using another’s work and passing it off as your own is a very serious ethical offence. It is even possible to commit plagiarism by poorly referencing your work. We have a zero-tolerance policy for intentional plagiarism, and if confirmed, this will result in disciplinary action.
16. Persistent possession or use of illegal drugs;
17. The supply of illegal drugs;
18. Any unacceptable behaviour that results from the possession, use or supply of illegal drugs;
19. Other behaviour that constitutes a potential criminal offence towards Medic Mentor or towards any other individual
20. Behaviour that constitutes a potential risk to the health, safety and well- being of Medic Mentors, students, parents, teachers or staff members, or that creates a legal liability for Medic Mentor;
21. Physical violence towards others, or the threat of physical violence;
22. Any other behaviour that compromises the reputation Medic Mentor.
Procedure for dealing with breaches of the Student Code of Conduct
1. Where it is alleged that a student has breached the Student Code of Conduct, the matter will be reviewed by Medic Mentor Chief Mentors and escalated to the President, in accordance with the disciplinary procedure, detailed below.
2. Where a Medic Mentor encounters a student violating the Student Code of Conduct, whilst on a Medic Mentor residential course, and this is corroborated by another Medic Mentor, a student, or electronic evidence, the matter may, at the discretion of the relevant senior Mentor (who will be a doctor, dentist or vet), lead to the student being removed from the Medic Mentor community and all Medic Mentor programmes (without a refund). Their parent/carer will be informed and, if indicated, the police will be informed.
3. The parent must also be willing to openly and honestly discuss the concerns raised with the Senior Mentor.