Safeguarding sim

The Bolton Safeguarding simulation project is a unique and collaborative mission aimed at exploring safeguarding in children for junior doctors




Safeguarding children is an often overlooked aspect of paediatric care when it comes to training our juniors. Beyond standardised courses it can be challenging to find safe spaces to explore and discover this key topic. 

The team at Bolton have created a novel safeguarding sim which they describe here. They hope to extend this opportunity to other trusts in their NW patch.


The Bolton Safeguarding SIM Project 2023

Some background, described here by Isabella and Imogen




Child protection is a critical responsibility of doctors, the General Medical Council states it is a doctor’s duty to identify and protect children at risk of abuse. However, the current paediatric safeguarding education for doctors is inadequate. The Paediatric Safeguarding Simulation project aimed to improve the confidence and knowledge amongst junior doctors and promote escalating concerns to child protection services or appropriate agencies.


Foundation teaching sessions

Four simulation scenarios were designed by Isabella and her supervisor Deborah, to address themes related to the four main types of child abuse: neglect, sexual, emotional, and physical. Each scenario is based after real life experiences and aimed to reflect the complexities of safeguarding which challenge junior doctors. The project used volunteer leaders, which were recruited to include members of the whole multidisciplinary team. The sessions were delivered to FY1 and FY2 junior doctors working at the Royal Bolton Hospital last year.


The key message of this project is reflected in a comment from one of the participants; “paediatric safeguarding is a very difficult topic which I feel is often taught poorly at medical school. By framing it as simulated scenarios it helped to contextualise learning points about how to respond to each difficult scenario”. This project showed significant improvement in confidence amongst junior doctors when approaching difficult communication scenarios in the context of paediatric safeguarding.



The sessions have received excellent feedback from both volunteer leaders and participants. All participants felt their confidence in managing paediatric safeguarding cases improved after one session. The project has since gone on to win the top prize at the NW Academic Foundation conference this year (2023).


Moving on…

We are continuing to deliver the project to FY1 foundation doctors at the Royal Bolton hospital this year.

We would also like to make the project regional using volunteer leaders at other sites to deliver the same session to foundation doctors. 

If you would like to be part of the project going forward and help to deliver the teaching across various sites within the NW please contact the team via our contact page


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