The General Medical Council have today opened a consultation on their revised child protection guidance.
The document is entitled Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors and covers issues such as communication, confidentiality, information sharing, consent, working together and training and development.
The draft guidance has been developed by a working group chaired by the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Thorpe. The group has been brought together by the GMC to develop clear principles for all doctors, including those who do not routinely treat children.
The draft guidance gives advice to doctors on:
- their duty to identify children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect, even when only treating adults
- the boundary between parental freedoms and child protection concerns
- good communication with children, parents and families when there are child protection concerns
- respecting confidentiality and when to share information
- good record keeping practice
- seeking consent to examination or investigation
- understanding how other professionals involved in child protection work consider and act on child protection concerns
- training and skills development
- giving evidence in court as a witness of fact and as an expert witness.
The consultation will interest organisations, doctors, young people, parents and carers with an interest in, or experience of the issues addressed in the guidance. It will also interest other professionals that have a role in child protection work, for example nurses, social workers, lawyers and the police.
To supplement the draft guidance, the GMC have produced a Factsheet: paediatricians and our fitness to practise procedures explaining how the GMC's fitness to practise procedures work, and how paediatricians are represented within them.
You can take part in the consultation on the GMC's public consultation site by completing one of the three questionnaires online.by Alex Bateman