GMC Unveils Draft Guidance On Child Abuse

Doctors Urged To Raise Concerns Over Suspected Cases

28.06.2011

New guidance which calls on doctors to raise concerns over potential cases of child abuse or neglect at the earliest possible stage have been welcomed by experts at Irwin Mitchell.

The draft information compiled by a working group on behalf of the General Medical Council requires doctors to spot signs that children may be at risk as soon as possible, even when they may be treating adult patients responsible for the youngsters.

Proposals on the issue were drawn up after medical professionals working closely with children, including those linked to child protection, called for clarity over when to share confidential information and flag potential problems.

The GMC is now holding a public consultation asking for views on the guidance.

Tracey Storey, a child abuse claims specialist at Irwin Mitchell who acts for youngsters who have suffered neglect or other problems, said: “These plans look set to bring clarity to this area in a manner which should help to improve the support available to some of the most vulnerable members of society.

“It is vital that authorities do everything they can to raise concerns about children who may be at harm at the earliest opportunity, and these proposals look set to make sure services are heading strongly in that direction.

“Too many lives have already been devastated and at worst lost as a result of abuse and neglect which authorities sadly failed to identify or react to.

“Proposals like this could play a key role in preventing future problems and ensuring that youngsters are protected from danger and abuse as soon as possible.”