Child protection

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7071.1548c (Published 14 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1548

Referrals to social services may be damaging

  1. David Fish
  1. General practitioner Henley Green Medical Centre, Coventry CV2 1AB

    EDITOR,—The ethical debate highlighting the problems of the child protection system discusses a particularly difficult case.1 The child protection system is the social services' equivalent to the consequences of defensive medicine. Social services research shows large variations in practice2 3—for example, in 1992, registrations for abuse in 110 local authorities varied from 0.8/1000 children to 18/1000, with a mean of 3.5/1000. Gloucestershire, with the lowest rate, includes a considerable industrial area. What is so special about its practice? The research …

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