All nurses should be given child protection training

All nurses should receive basic child protection training,
according to new guidelines published by the Royal College of
Nursing, writes Sally Gillen.

The guidance, which advises on how to spot signs of abuse and
what action to take, stresses that all nurses, regardless of what
area they work in, should undertake compulsory training.

The RCN is also calling for the introduction of child protection
training to be made a core component of all pre-registration
nursing and midwifery education programmes.

Single child health records, including mechanisms for obtaining
records of previous admissions, should also be brought in.

The guidance follows Lord Laming’s report into the death
of Victoria Climbie, published in January, which listed poor
communication among the reasons for services failure to save the

RCN paediatric adviser Fiona Smith said that “nurses were
in an ideal position to spot children at risk of abuse” but
added that they needed to “know how to take decisive

“Although we know all NHS Trusts are required to have a
designated or named nurse for child protection, we know from RCN
members across the UK that provision is still patchy. This has to
be rectified immediately so that nurses and other key health
workers have access to expert child protection advice and support
24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Child protection: every nurse’s responsibility

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