Research Article

Non-accidental injury in children: what we do in Derby.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.1.6022.1363 (Published 05 June 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:1363
  1. L J Arthur,
  2. W M Moncrieff,
  3. W Milburn,
  4. P S Bayliss,
  5. J Heath

    Abstract

    A scheme for dealing with cases of non-accidental injury in children in the Derby clinical area has been operating since 1971. A stable team of doctors, policemen, and social workers deal with each case. The parents are told at once that battering is suspected, and the police and social services department co-operate closely in establishing the facts, supporting the family, and protecting the child. A psychiatric assessment of the parents may help social workers decide on the long-term care of the child, and the forensic physician is invaluable if the case has to go to court. The team has made three recommendations about prevention and management of these cases: a specialist social service team should be set up to deal with these children and regain the skills and knowledge lost when children's departments were abolished in 1971; babies should be routinely weighed naked in infant welfare clinics; and juvenile courts should be able to order a psychiatric report on the parents in care proceedings.