Hospitals across the UK have probably been failing to recognise
child abuse deaths because there has been no national system for
identifying them, according to research by the NSPCC.
The research found child abuse was only recorded if there was firm
evidence such as injury, or confessions by parents or carers.
It also found three-quarters of paediatricians believe monitoring
of children at risk needs to be better prioritised, and that social
care information is not given equivalent status to medical
The report follows last year’s Laming Report into the death of
Victoria Climbi’, which called for clearer procedures in the NHS
for doctors and nurses to document and share information about
possible child abuse.
A Department of Health spokesperson said “a number of measures to
improve safeguards for children” had been introduced since the
research was carried out between 1998 and 2001, including plans to
establish screening groups to examine all unexpected child deaths.