Update from Elaine Burfitt (Clinical Lead, RCPCH Child Protection Audit & CPSIG Exec), published in the December 2023 edition of BACCH News.
Child Protection Service Delivery Standards Audit
Individual service level audit reports for child protection medical assessment services are now available! In 2023 the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health (RCPCH) kindly funded a national audit of the child protection medical assessment service delivery standards. Information about service models was also collected, allowing benchmarking with other teams who see children for child protection medical assessments during the working hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
On the 10th of November 2023, each service who took part had their individual report sent to the person submitting data, usually the Named Doctor. In January 2024, the overarching national report will be published along with a breakdown of responses at
different levels, e.g. by country/region/etc. Overall, 132 services registered for the audit, 124 of whom provided a full or partial submission. There will be other services in the UK who did not register but it is difficult to know who they are; contrary to popular belief, there is no central list of named doctors or services.
Whilst the report detail will be of most interest to those who run those services, they will also be of interest to anyone who wants to make sure that everybody involved with these challenging assessments is well supported. So, talk to your Named Doctor for Safeguarding Children to see your local report and look out for the national publication in January on the RCPCH website. This audit, looking at the availability of resources should be just the start. It is hoped that funding can be secured for future iterations to look at the use of those resources and to gather more detail about the numbers of children seen, investigations undertaken etc.