Early findings of children’s blueprint revealed

All hospitals must ensure they have child protection protocols
and 24-hour access to child protection advice and support under new
national standards for children in hospitals, writes
Amy Taylor.

The hospital standard is the first part of national service
framework for children. The remaining parts are due out in the

The hospital standard’s section on the quality and safety
of care provided says that children’s records should be
attributable to and signed by a health care professional and
countersigned by the responsible consultant – a requirement
for safeguarding children emphasised by the Victoria Climbie

It adds that it may be necessary to investigate children’s prior
attendance at other hospitals, particularly when there are
protection concerns.

The safety section goes on to state that staff assessing
children should know who to contact in social services at any time
if they have concerns about a child’s safety, and that appropriate
advice on child protection should be available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.

It adds that agreed procedures should be in place for reporting
concerns, and that no child should be dismissed without a care

Under the standard, all hospitals should also 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 protection

In terms of joint-working arrangements, it describes the
“preferred” scenario to be one where a core of social services
staff are permanently dedicated to working with hospital services
and have a base in the building.

Draft standards on child protection and child and adolescent
mental health, published alongside the final hospital standard,
suggest that every area has a preventive strategy to raise
awareness among staff and the community on how to safeguard
children and that 24-hour cover is in place for urgent mental
health needs.

 The standard for hospital services and the NSF emerging
findings are available


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