All hospital staff should have access to child protection advice
around the clock and a child protection protocol should be in place
under new national standards for children’s services in
The section of the standards concerning the quality and safety
of care states that staff who assess children should know who to
contact in social services at any time if they have concerns about
a child’s safety.
And appropriate advice on child protection should be available
to hospital staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week, states the
The hospital standard is the first part of the National Service
Framework for Children to be published. The remaining sections are
due out in the winter.
The standard stipulates that children’s records should be
attributable to and signed by a health care professional and
countersigned by the responsible consultant – a requirement for
protecting children highlighted by the Victoria Climbié
The standard spells out that it might be necessary for staff to
investigate children’s prior attendance at other hospitals,
particularly where there are child protection concerns.
Under the new standard all hospitals are required to have a
protocol in place drawn up and agreed by the trust board, with the
involvement of other local agencies secured through the area child
Draft standards on child and adolescent mental health, child
protection and disabled children were published by the government
alongside the hospital standard.
– The Standard for Hospital Services and the NSF Emerging