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Worrying gaps in NHS child protection services

16 July 2009

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A government-commissioned review has found that there are “worryingly low” numbers of staff with up-to-date training in child protection.

The report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) comes after the revelations of the Baby P case which uncovered “systemic failings” within the NHS care given to the little boy before his death.

This latest research has found that there are gaps in NHS child protection services, with only 54% of staff in each NHS trust having the necessary child protection training.

Alarmingly, only 37% of trusts were even found to have a budget for training staff in this area.

GPs were also identified by the review as lacking appropriate training, with 65% not having the training or there being no record of them having it or not.

Only 10% or fewer GPs in 20 primary care trusts (PCTs) were up to date, while only six PCTs could say that 90% or more of their GPs had adequate training, despite one in 10 GP consultations in 2007/08 being with children aged 14 or under.

The report also shows that around three million children under 16 attend A&E every year, but just 58% of A&E or urgent care staff have adequate training in child protection.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Care Quality Commission

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