Lorraine Beckford

Lorraine Beckford, Single Point of Contact for children deaths in Merton, Merton CCG

“I have worked for the NHS for nine years. I started in Tower Hamlets with the Children, Schools and Families Team. In 2013 I accepted a role in the Safeguarding Team with Merton CCG where I focus on making sure children and young people are kept safe and protected from harm.

“Our Safeguarding team works to make sure that the health needs of the most vulnerable adults and children in our community are identified and understood, and that services are commissioned to meet their needs.  The team leads on training to ensure NHS staff can recognise signs of abuse and understand their responsibilities when a child or adult may be at risk of harm. This ensures children and young people achieve their potential and the best possible outcomes in life.

“I also support parents and carers who have lost a child and manage the operational responsibilities of a panel of health, social care and other professionals who review all unexpected deaths to make sure that preventable deaths do not happen again. The panel also works to make sure that parents and carers who have lost a child can get bereavement support.

“There is a constant emphasis on improvement in our team. We may develop new policies and procedures based on what we’ve learnt from previous cases of abuse, or improve awareness by training staff on new forms of abuse identified, for example, online abuse, substance misuse or maltreatment.

“I am fortunate to have access to brilliant clinical minds in my Designated Doctor, Dr Benedicta Ogeah, and my line manager, Head of Safeguarding Liz Royle. They have encouraged my personal development. I obtained an LLB in Law this year.  As a first generation Windrush child, I am championing the issues faced by those later Windrush generations for whom their immigration status has been placed in jeopardy by the changing legislation. I have spoken at NHS England’s London Looked after Children Nurse Forum on the unique vulnerabilities of third generation Commonwealth children who are looked after by local authorities. I have also contributed to the discussion of this matter at the House of Commons.”