STAFF from the safeguarding teams at Warrington Hospital have been spreading the word about what their role involves.

The vulnerable adults and children’s team are dispelling myths ‘they are here to take your kids off you’ and making it clear how they can help.

Nicki Richardson, who looks after the safeguarding children team, said: “A lot of our work is identifying families who might be struggling at an early stage and putting them in touch with the right agency that can help.

“Sometimes you have to be Wonderwoman to fit everything in, for example if you have a child with lots of regular appointments, so we can link families to additional support.

“A lot of families think they can manage on their own but it can be practical things like a hoist for a disabled child which parents sometimes don’t even realise exists.”

Diane Goncalves, vulnerable adults matron, said the team are raising awareness among staff, patients and visitors and advising them on what they can do if they have concerns.

She said: “There are many different categories of abuse but there’s more awareness now and an increasing number of domestic abuse cases every year.

“People don’t realise the support out there for them and often feel quite safe when they come into hospital and will disclose things they have perhaps never mentioned before to other members of the family.”

Diane’s team work with vulnerable adults who can not protect themselves due to illness, frailty or disability and could be the subject of physical, emotional or even financial abuse.

She added: “We have had examples of children taking elderly relatives pension because they think they can’t cope with it but it leaves them feeling isolated when all they want to do is buy their grandchildren some sweets.

“It’s about working with the family and getting in there early with support.

“We want to encourage people that it’s ok to ask for help and we can point you in the right direction.”

For more information or support call 635911 and ask for safeguarding adults or children’s team.