- Susan Mayor
The NHS must make substantial improvements to comply with measures to safeguard children who may be being abused, urges a review published by the Care Quality Commission in response to the death of a child after serious abuse was not tackled despite many contacts with health professionals.
The secretary of state for health commissioned the review after the death of baby Peter, a 17 month old who died after sustained abuse despite 34 contacts with health professionals during his short life. An initial report after his death found systemic failings in the health care he received from NHS hospitals and GPs (BMJ 2009;338:b1967, doi:10.1136/bmj.b1967).
The review, which is based on a survey of 392 NHS trusts, showed that most organisations had “the right people and systems” to help protect children. But it found “worrying shortfalls” in the numbers of staff who were up to date with mandatory training designed to help them identify and respond to concerns about potential child neglect and abuse. …