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22nd July 2016

Children Are Suffering In Silence

[caption id="attachment_14244" align="alignright" width="400"]Children Are Suffering In Silence Children Are Suffering In Silence[/caption]

Vulnerable Children

Children are often the ones most affected by family circumstances, the justice system, education, abuse, and medical factors such as HIV. Even the CQC has said that vulnerable children are suffering in silence because healthcare professionals are failing to recognise and protect them. We are supposed to care for and improve the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable, so why is the system failing them?

Not Seen Not Heard

The CQC has just published a new report looking at how effectively health services are identifying and protecting children at risk of harm. In the report ‘Not Seen Not Heard’ the CQC has found that GP surgeries, hospitals and health visitors are not acting consistently enough to assess children’s risk of problems including parental ill health, sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation (FGM). Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice said “We owe it to the children. We must provide the support they deserve and the help they need to move forward with their lives.”

Safeguarding

It’s everyone’s responsibility to safeguard children and young people and we must strive to protect and promote the health and welfare of young people, but the CQC found that two thirds of the young people they spoke to didn’t feel involved in their care, and most areas the CQC visited couldn’t prove that they there were making a difference to children and young people, which is disappointing. The CQC feel that health staff need to improve how information is shared with the right people at the right time, and when young people are old enough to leave children’s care services it should be easier for them to move to adult services for help and support.

What Should We Be Doing?

One of the patient groups that the CQC inspect against is Families, Children and Young People so it is up to us to ensure that the right people are doing the right job, are well trained, and are properly organised to deliver care so that quality services are delivered when they are needed. We are also assessed by the CQC to check that our organisations are Well-led and they believe that good leadership at every level is critical to safeguarding the health and welfare of children and the quality of leadership closely correlates with the overall quality of a service. Unless we have effective strategies in place to identify and act on behalf of these vulnerable children and young people then nothing will change and they will continue to be failed by those who are supposed to protect and care for them.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Topics: GPs

Alison Lowerson

GP Specialist

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