13 Mar 2019

St Helens Safeguarding Children's Partnership Board plays a key role in production of national resources for health professionals who work with children and young people.

Health professionals in St Helens have played a key role in the production of a range of resources including step by step guides and downloadable tools for fellow professionals who work with children and young people to recognise and respond to harmful sexual behaviour.

At least one third of all sexual offences against children and young people in the UK are committed by other children and young people, and the extent of sexual abuse may be much higher1.

Supported by the National Workforce Skills Development Unit and commissioned by Health Education England, the NSPCC has developed a range of resources including step by step guides and downloadable tools to help health professionals respond to incidents of harmful sexual behaviour.

The new resources identify what healthy and unhealthy behaviours are, as well as what kind of attention and response should be given by healthcare professionals.

St Helens was chosen by the NSPCC to be an early adopter of their Harmful Sexual Behaviour Framework and staff from NHS St Helens CCG, St Helens Council and North West Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust gave filmed interviews as part of the resource pack.

Designed as a tool to support work with children and young people, the framework has been updated to include the most recent evidence and will help local areas to develop clear policies and procedures.  A new quick guide has also been developed by the NSPCC to help those with a strategic role in coordinating child protection and HSB responses to improve the help they offer.

Professor Sarah O'Brien, Strategic Director People’s Services/Clinical Accountable Officer, NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“It is essential that healthcare professionals understand and have confidence in responding to harmful sexual behaviour and we are very pleased to have supported the NSPCC with their work in this area.

 “At St Helens we are committed to helping those working with children and families develop their understanding and are working with multiple agencies to improve provision across the area.”

 Pat Branigan, NSPCC Development and Impact Manager said:

“Sadly harmful sexual behaviour is not rare, making it really important that those who come into contact with children, young people and their carers are able to respond appropriately. This includes being able to distinguish normal sexual behaviours from those that may be inappropriate, problematic or harmful and make sure children get the appropriate help.

 “Our research in this area also confirms how vital it is that health professionals are given the right up to date support and we have developed these resources specifically with this in mind.”

The step by step guides, filmed interviews with healthcare professionals and tools and resources are available to download on the NSPCC Learning Website


The NSPCC Learning Website is a new website dedicated to housing the charity’s training courses, research and resources for professionals that work with and come into contact with children and teenagers on a regular basis.