Wednesday, 22 July 2009

NICE Guidance

Hard on the heals of the finding that too few NHS staff are trained to recognise child maltreatment comes guidance on recognition from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. It would be hard not to welcome this, especially as it has been prepared by a group under the chairmanship of a distinguished child psychiatrist with enormous experience in the field.

It is not, however, a solution to the problem outlined in the Care Quality Commission report. Checklists can be very helpful if used properly, but they are no subsitute for sound clinical judgement, based on knowledge and experience. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals all require regular professional training and updates in recognising and responding to child abuse.