Joint professional escalation and resolution protocol

Core principles

If staff and agencies believe there is a risk to the immediate safety or wellbeing of an ACYP they have a duty to:

  • take action
  • escalate concern

All agencies must support their workers in knowing how to escalate concerns and disagreements about an ACYP's wellbeing appropriately.

Professional concerns or disagreements may detract the focus from safeguarding the ACYP. It is paramount that during any professional disagreement priority is given to:

  • the safeguarding and wellbeing of the ACYP at risk
  • the ACYP wishes, feelings and desired outcomes
  • resolving the matter in a timely manner

Sometimes there is a disagreement about care arrangements.  It is good practice for the ACYP to remain in the care setting until the escalation has been resolved. The ACYP’s needs must be fully met. They must only remain in an inappropriate setting for as long as is necessary.  All partners must prioritise relevant assessments to enable safe, appropriate and timely discharge.

All agencies' staff must ensure discussions and outcomes are recorded in the agencies’ records and the ACYP's file.

Care should be taken to agree a way of managing conflict.  This will allow ACYPs and families to understand the issues under discussion.

This protocol is not designed to replace any agencies’ complaints processes.  It should not be used for complaints about a specific professional where their agency’s complaints or allegations procedure applies.

This protocol should be read and utilised alongside the agencies’ and LSAB procedures.

Escalation can be via telephone, face-to-face, email or a meeting.  All escalation must be recorded in the single agency records.  This will ensure that the procedure is effective and transparent.

Staff should contact their agency safeguarding lead if unsure of whom to contact for cross-agency escalation.