SAFE Associate – Karen Littlewood

Karen has held strategic and operational clinical leadership roles in the NHS. She has extensive leadership experience in Health and Social Care Practice across the acute sector, community health, local authority, general practice, and board membership.

Karen specialised in safeguarding children in 2004, setting up health services for children in care.  Karen became a Named Nurse Safeguarding Children in 2006. She made a significant contribution to the development and delivery of the multiagency safeguarding training programme. As an active member of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) she contributed to improvements in the standard of child protection conferences, report writing, and interagency communication. She developed the safeguarding arrangements and compliance across the Community Trust and Primary Care.

Karen has worked closely with the Police and Social Care on several high-profile child sexual abuse and child trafficking cases ensuring the health needs of the children were met. Karen developed the health services participation for the multiagency response to domestic abuse and Multiagency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC).

Karen produced the internal management reviews for many serious case reviews. She undertook the Advanced Management of Unexpected Deaths at Warwick University in 2010 and provided the health perspective to the police as part of the investigation process. Karen has specialist knowledge in the management of specific areas of child maltreatment including fabricated and induced illness, bruising in non-independently mobile children, sexual abuse, and safeguarding supervision.

Karen was the Designated Nurse Consultant Safeguarding Children accountable for the effective governance of countywide safeguarding children arrangements across the health economy. She provided advice, clinical expertise and strategic leadership to the Clinical Commissioning Group, the Local Authority, the LSCB and the Health and Wellbeing Board. She advised and provided supervision to other health professionals in provider organisations and primary care. Karen developed and delivered training for all GP practices and assisted them to achieve CQC compliance. Karen represented health as a board member on the Local Authority Safeguarding Improvement Board, the LSCB and was the Chair of the Serious Case Review Committee.

Karen is able to review safeguarding children arrangements, undertake audit and review policy and practice having considerable experience undertaking compliance inspections and investigations related to safeguarding, clinical incidents and complaints. She has written organisational safeguarding policy, developed training in line with the intercollegiate document and contributed to multiagency policy and protocols including the initiation of a multiagency safeguarding hub (MASH). Karen has contributed to several Ofsted and CQC inspections of safeguarding arrangements and developed associated organisational improvement plans.

Karen is committed to sharing her skills and knowledge to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and now works as an independent consultant and trainer.