Call for shake-up to NHS child protection procedures in Wales

proposals for the protection of children cared for by the NHS in
Wales were unveiled last week by the Carlile Review. The proposals
were in response to allegations made by former patients of a child
and adolescent mental health unit to the north Wales child abuse

review, set up two years ago by the Welsh assembly and chaired by
Lord Carlile QC, makes 150 recommendations aimed at safeguarding
young people and protecting them from abuse whenever they come into
contact with health services.

recommendations include a new all-Wales NHS child protection
organisation accountable to the Welsh assembly, two new charters
for children, a new director of children’s health care services,
and medical access to child protection registers.

report also says there is an urgent need to review the adequacy of
therapeutic services in Wales for those who have suffered

12 months, there will be a set of Welsh national child protection
documents that contain standards and protocols for every NHS
setting, and clear lines of communication between designated
liaison officers in each health organisation and the children’s
commissioner for Wales, the report says.

It also
recommends the setting up children’s advocates, as well as
complaints officers in each NHS trust. There will also be
safeguards for whistleblowers.

report recommends that NHS Direct Wales has access to local
authority child protection registers. Subject to secure password
safeguards, staff in accident and emergency, outpatient and minor
injury units will also have access to councils’ child protection
registers. Social services will also have access to the relevant
parts of a child’s health records.

There is
also a recommendation that the Department of Health’s Working
Together child protection guidance published in 1999 should be
issued to the NHS with similar provisions to those that apply to
the social services departments of local authorities.

at the launch of the report, health and social services minister
for Wales Jane Hutt said: “[The report] recognises that everyone
who has contact with children and their treatment is aware of the
rights of the child and is alert to the possibility of abuse.”

Too Serious a Thing is available from 

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