The National Insitute for Heath and Clinical Excellence has published new guidelines for health professionals in spotting signs of child abuse.
It is aimed at NHS and independent sector health workers who are not specialists in child protection and provides a summary of clinical features associated with maltreatment to support clinical suspicion before a child has been referred to social services.
Health services failure
The guidance was drawn up in the wake of the Baby P case and the failure by health professionals to spot signs of serious physical abuse. It cites figures showing that there were 538,000 child abuse referrals to social services last year, but estimates the scale of the problem could be far higher.