Paediatricians put off protection work

The increasing number of complaints against paediatricians is
putting many of them off child protection work, a survey from the
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has revealed.

More than one in seven paediatricians have been the subject of a
formal complaint about their child protection work, the survey
reveals, with the number of complaints rising from fewer than 20 in
1995 to more than 100 in 2003.

Of these complaints, 11 per cent were referred to the General
Medical Council, but none has so far been upheld.

Nearly one-third of doctors who had received a complaint said it
had made them less willing to become involved in child protection

Nearly 80 per cent of all UK paediatricians responded to the survey
in October last year.

NSPCC director and chief executive Mary Marsh said she was “deeply
worried” about the survey’s findings.

“It would be a tragedy for children if a rise in unjustified
complaints deterred paediatricians from working in the field of
child protection, making diagnoses of child abuse or providing
professional opinion when called upon to do so,” she said.

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