Background Child protection medical examination is an essential competency for any trainee to progress through CCT. Often trainees are apprehensive when asked to perform Child Protection medicals. Inadequate training may lead to poor quality assessments resulting in potential risk to the child, family and possible litigations.
Aim To elucidate the learning opportunities which Paediatric trainees get in an average sized district general hospital in England.
Methods We have audited notes of children who were referred for the “Child Protection Medical Examination” to our hospital between 01/05/2012 to 30/09/2013.
Results There were 24 “Child Protection Medical Assessments” performed during 16 months. Both boys and girls were equal in number (12 each).
3 (12%) children were under the age of 12 months, 11 (46%) were between 1 and 5 years and 10 (42%) were older than 5 years.
20 (84%) of these assessments were performed during the weekday and 4 (16%) were done during the weekends.
9 (38%) of the assessments were performed by the ‘Community Paediatric Registrars’ who are on call to perform this task in the weekdays during the normal working hours. Equal number 9 (38%) of assessments was performed by the ‘Ward Registrars’. On call general paediatric consultants did remaining 6 (24%) assessments.
Conclusion Child safeguarding attracts media attention often due to medical inadequacies. We are aware about various serious case reviews in the past and a common recommendation in all of them was to ensure proper training of the front line staff.
24 child protection examinations in 16 months imply an average of 1.5 per month. Just to add to our worry is that on call registrars for child safeguarding have only performed 9 assessments in 16 months, i.e. approximately one assessment every other month.
We are seriously concerned about lack of exposure which trainees are getting in this very important component of Paediatric training. We strongly feel to consider other training modalities including introducing simulation technique for “Child Safeguarding” in the Paediatric curriculum.