Vulnerable Children

Safeguarding vulnerable children

Setting: Primary Care

“Child safeguarding issues do not tend to be picked-up by GPs – more often it’s teachers. But there are occasions when alarm bells start to ring. In this case, it was when two young brothers failed to show up for their immunisations. When I checked their notes, I could see that they had come in several times over the last year with various smaller injuries.

“Previously I would have contacted our local children’s services. This could be time-consuming, and it was often quite hard to get hold of a social worker to find out if there were any issues or if a referral had been made.

“Using the shared care record meant I could see straight away that no safeguarding assessment had been done, and I could make an immediate referral.

“This link between GPs and children’s services via the shared care record is incredibly important – I would go as far as to say potentially lifesaving – because it means that at-risk children are more visible.”

GP, London

“As a GP I want to protect my most vulnerable patients. Using the shared care record, I can see quickly if a safeguarding assessment has been carried out by social care services, and if not, I can make an immediate referral. This supports clinical decision-making, and more importantly has the potential to save lives: it means that those at high-risk are more visible.”

Dr Farzana Hussain, North East London GP, Clinical Director for Newham Central 1 PCN

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