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Doctors to report child abuse

10th July 2012

The General Medical Council has said doctors should not be afraid to report their concerns about child abuse.

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The GMC said doctors were being put off reporting their suspicions that a child might be being abused because of a "climate of fear" which made them hesitant to make a report.

The regulator said its new guidance should allow doctors to feel more confident about reporting their concerns.

The guidance underlines the importance of medics taking the danger of child abuse into consideration for every child they see.

The guidance also goes into detail about when doctors should share data about patients. It was produced following a two year review and adds to an existing policy published in 2006.

The review came about after criticism that doctors failed to identify chances to help 17-month old Peter Connolly - known as Baby P - who died in 2007 after suffering years of abuse. 

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said preventing and identifying child abuse was a "complex and emotionally challenging" area for doctors.

"Doctors who make child protection decisions based on the guidance will be able to justify their actions if a complaint is made against them," he added. 

 

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