Interview with Ben Leach, Head of Safeguarding and Dementia at Northampton General Hospital
Hi I'm Ben Leach. Head of Safeguarding and Dementia at Northampton General Hospital. I have been in post for 2½ years and my role covers the strategic direction and development of all the aspects of the safeguarding agenda – this means supporting individual patients where they have increased needs right through to horizon scanning and anticipating the strategic needs of the organisation.
Q. What got you into safeguarding/child protection in the first place?
I was working in a mental health trust within a CAMHS team and the opportunity arose to work in the safeguarding service, this seemed a logical extension of the skills and knowledge that I had.
Q. What are the different things you do in the role?
My role covers all the aspects of safeguarding ranging from supporting children and young people with immediate concerns right through to contributing to the strategic work of the Board. The variety of the role means that I can start my day looking at one area of practice, for example how to embed the neglect toolkit and finish it speaking with a child or young person about what they feel was good or could be better about their hospital experience.
Q. What do you do enjoy most about your role?
My role gives me immense satisfaction. The ability to devise and implement changes, some very small, which can have a real impact on the experience that children and young people have when they use our services is really rewarding. I also enjoy, even if it sometimes can be a little fraught, the rapid pace and variety that comes with the job.
Q. What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make?
The hardest decisions I have to make are to persevere when advocating for a service user, when other peers have an alternative opinion on what should happen.
Q. What are your aims for the next 12 months?
I have a really simple aim for the next twelve months; it is to support our services and staff to deliver excellent, child centred interventions, each and every time we have contact.
Q. Who do you rely on when things get tough?
My boss and my cats. My boss, because she always has the time to listen and to support and my cats because as far as they are concerned, I am the centre of the universe and therefore never wrong!
Last updated: 01 December 2016