Independent Safeguarding Board Q&A – Lynne Wigens

In the latest in our series of Q&As with members of our Independent Safeguarding Board, we spoke to Dr Lynne Wigens OBE, about why she got involved with the initiative, her highly successful career in nursing and safeguarding, and her views on the social care sector.

Dr. Lynne Wigens OBE

As former Director of Patient Safety and Clinical Quality and Regional Chief Nurse, you have extensive experience across a wide range of roles, including visiting Professor for University of Suffolk & University of East Anglia, Chief Nursing Officer Exceptional Leader, and Trustee for The Royal Osteoporosis Society. What qualities do you bring to the Independent Safeguarding Board?

I believe I bring knowledge and experience of leading safeguarding within healthcare services, most recently leading the Regional Quality Oversight and Improvement, working effectively to manage quality and regulatory concerns.

What do you see as your key responsibilities on the Independent Safeguarding Board?

Our key responsibilities are taking an objective, supporting, and challenging view on safeguarding processes and governance and advising on improvements.

In addition, it’s about looking at the strategic direction of safeguarding and health and social care provision and using the latest guidance, policy, and intelligence to inform practices within the Tristone community, while bringing a health perspective to discussions and the work of the Independent Safeguarding Board.

What attracted you to the position? 

It was the opportunity to collaborate with safeguarding expertise from across the sectors and support improved safeguarding practices within an independent sector provider. I am keen to work in roles where I can use my experience to add value to service users and staff.

What are the top five things needed to create a successful safeguarding culture?

My top five would have to be:

  • Being open and honest within care environments, so that we can best meet person-centred care.
  • Motivation to always improve and continuously strengthen the safeguarding of adults and children.
  • Empowering people to make informed decisions, accessing the best evidence available.
  • Effective communication and partnership working.
  • And governance and processes that support best practice in safeguarding.

Where do you see the sector in 12 months and five years’ time?

Over time I think there could be greater collaboration between health and social care providers, as we progress in our working to integrate care within local systems.

What is needed to improve the social care sector?

I think that sharing best practice across sectors can help social care, making sure that the provision remains current and adapts to the needs of service users. Clearly, adequate resourcing and great leadership are intrinsic to sustained improvement.

Away from the office do you have any interesting hobbies you’d like you share?

I play the flute and enjoy music festivals. I have recently taken up painting pictures, and I enjoy walks (visiting stately homes and gardens).