Child protection unit to be based at hospital

A specialist child protection unit is planned for a new
children’s hospital in Aberdeen after it opens next year,
writes Nicola Barry.

The unit would take a radical approach to child protection as a
joint social work and police operation, and be integrated into the
health care provided at the new hospital.

It is hoped the unit will improve investigation procedures, with
specialists on hand to perform physical examinations on children
who are suspected victims of physical or sexual abuse. There would
also be psychological services available for children who are
victims of abuse and neglect.

Detective inspector Harry Thorburn, head of the community
protection team in Aberdeen, warned the plan was still at a very
early stage.

“Investigations into child abuse are like the different arms of
an octopus,” he said.

“We felt that this new hospital would be the logical place to
promote multi-agency working. It would minimise the trauma for a
child to have everything happen in the one place.”

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