Intended for healthcare professionals


Hanging doctors out to dry

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 19 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:140
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. London

    The press pillories professionals who make mistakes in child protection. Rebecca Coombes says that a new course should improve doctors' competence and confidence

    The first UK-wide training for doctors working in child protection was warmly welcomed last week, but senior paediatricians have warned that it is just the first step in restoring the confidence of a profession left in tatters by high profile failures.

    Safeguarding Children: Recognition and Response in Child Protection for Doctors in Training, a one day course in detecting and responding to possible child abuse, will become a mandatory part of paediatric training. Until now, preparation for coping with child protection work has been patchy and the quality has varied.

    The training was devised by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, in a joint venture with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Advanced Life Support Group, a medical education charity delivering training in lifesaving techniques. The training will also be offered to GPs and doctors working in emergency departments.

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    The pillorying of paediatricians Professer Roy Meadow (left) and Professor David Southall (right) has led to a crisis in recruitment



    The hope is that by improving competence in this area, the course will give doctors more confidence and make them better prepared to …

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