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    Care and Concern

    Care and Concern - an overview

    Care and Concern is the university’s centralised report and support system for non-academic concerns (issues relating to a student’s misconduct, health, wellbeing, risk of harm and safety).  It manages the response to four policies: safeguarding (including Prevent), Fitness to Study, Fitness for Practice, Student Conduct and Discipline.

    Click here for an overview of Care and Concern.

    Are you concerned about a student? Are you or someone you know at risk of harm?

    If you are concerned about a student’s misconduct, health, wellbeing, risk of harm or safety, please contact Care and Concern.  You can contact us in various ways:

    Email: careandconcern@mdx.ac.uk

    Telephone: 0208 411 6200 – this is the number for Security, please ask for Care and Concern and you will be connected to a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSOs).

    Alternatively, you can speak to any member of staff who will be able to contact Care and Concern on your behalf.

    Please note that Care and Concern operates during office hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.  In the case of a safeguarding emergency, please call the telephone number above and an out-of-hours response will be initiated.

    What is care and concern?

    Care and Concern is a procedure which manages an holistic response to non-academic concerns about a student.  It covers the following policies:

    • Fitness to Study
    • Fitness for Practice
    • Safeguarding
    • Student Conduct and Discipline

    A Care and Concern issue relates to concerns about a student’s:

    • Health
    • Wellbeing
    • Conduct (or potential misconduct)
    • Safety
    • Vulnerability

    It does not refer to concerns relating to academic engagement: e.g. attendance, achievement and academic misconduct.

    What is the Care and Concern procedure?

    The Care and Concern procedure has a three stage approach:

    • Stage 1 – Notice, act and refer
    • Stage 2 – Referral, information gathering and decision making
    • Stage 3 – Follow University Policy or Procedure

    Stage 1 – Notice, act and refer

    All members of Middlesex University, both staff and students, are encouraged to take action if they notice or become aware of a cause for concern.

    Taking action may include an appropriate and proportionate level of enquiry, such as asking “are you okay?” and making a referral by sharing relevant information through the Care and Concern procedure.  It is important to note that referrals are encouraged and that the threshold for reporting is low.

    To refer a Care and Concern either:

    • email careandconcern@mdx.ac.uk (or)
    • call security (0208 411 6200/ext.16200) and ask to speak to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (or)
    • speak to any member of staff and ask them to contact Care and Concern on your behalf.

    If an allegation is made against a member of staff, the relevant HR procedures will be followed.

    In cases of an emergency situation (for example, relating to security or first aid or where the police or an ambulance is required), call security (0208 411 6200) and ask for the relevant service. For example:

    • if a person is physically or mentally unwell: call security (0208 411 6200) and ask for the duty First Aider or for an ambulance to be called.
    • if a crime is going to be committed, or an individual is in immediate danger: call security (0208 411 6200) and ask for the police to be contacted.

    Stage 2 – Referral, information gathering and decision

    At this stage information is collected about the concern followed by a decision about what further action is to be taken.  The responsibility at this stage lies with the Care and Concern team, and not with the person or people who have noticed the concern and made the referral.

    Based on the information gathered, a decision is made by the Care and Concern team to either:  follow the relevant University Policy or Procedure; monitor the situation or; to take no further action.

    Stage 3 – Follow University Policy or Procedure

    This structured approach to Care and Concern ensures that all stakeholders are clear with respect to the boundaries of the Care and Concern procedure in relation to each policy:

    • Fitness to Study
    • Fitness for Practice
    • Safeguarding
    • Student Conduct and Discipline

    What is the care and concern team and what do they do?

    The Care and Concern team consists of staff members from professional services, including Counselling and Mental Health, Student Support and Student and Legal Affairs, thus removing the possibility of a single point of failure.  The team does not work in isolation, consulting university staff outside of the team where necessary and appropriate as well as with external agencies.

    The team meets twice a week to discuss cases and agree on appropriate next steps, immediate and short-term interventions and longer-term action plans.  A case manager is assigned to oversee interventions and monitor any developments with the focus on ensuring there is a structure in place to support a student and that the right procedure is being followed at the right time.

    What are the designated safeguarding officers and what do they do?

    Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSOs) are members of staff from across the University who volunteer their time on a rota basis, in addition to their day job, to be available 9 to 5, Monday to Friday to:

    • act as the first port of call for all contacts made to Care and Concern;
    • provide an immediate response as trained first-responders to safeguarding emergencies, such as if a student is experiencing a mental health crisis;
    • decide on immediate next steps and act as the route to the Care and Concern team by identifying when the threshold has been met for a referral;
    • give general advice and guidance about Care and Concern, such as regarding policy, procedure and internal services.

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