Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2A: Roles and responsibilities for child protection 55 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 GP Out of Hours Services 2.111 Children may attend a primary care or general practice unscheduled care service for medical care. In some instances, abuse or neglect may be suspected. In addition to care and treatment, local procedures for raising child protection concerns should be followed. Local guidance should be in place to support response to refusal of treatment, or premature termination of the appointment. If health staff suspect that a child or young person attending an unscheduled care service has experienced or is at risk of abuse or neglect, practitioners should provide any immediate medical care required. They should examine the child for evidence of injuries, remembering that these may be concealed under clothing, document carefully all clinical findings including skin condition, bruising, scars, weight and height, and follow local child protection procedures. They must share concerns about risk of abuse or neglect without delay with social work out of hours services. This will ensure the local child protection register is checked. If there is immediate risk of harm the police should be contacted. Scottish Ambulance Service 2.112 The Scottish Ambulance Service covers the whole of Scotland and has a duty of care to protect the public, including the care and protection of children. Ambulance crews attend emergency and urgent calls across the whole of the country and may be the first to identify that a child is at risk or may have been harmed, at which point local policy for raising their concerns will be followed. NHS 24 2.113 NHS 24 delivers a range of urgent and unscheduled care services connecting people to the care they need, and is Scotland’s National Telehealth and Telecare Service. It provides access to clinical assessment, healthcare advice and information 24 hours per day. The aim is to provide service users with a timely response in relation to any assistance or advice required to meet their health needs, including additional support that requires onward referral to alternative professional services. Most calls are received via the 111 service when GP surgeries and other services are closed. 2.114 NHS 24 plays a crucial role in the recognition and timely response to public protection concerns, which include the unborn baby, children and young people. This is to ensure relevant and proportionate information regarding protection needs is shared with appropriate professionals, including social work and/or Police Scotland. 2.115 If social work services contact emergency medical services or NHS 24 due to concerns about a child or young person’s injuries or illness, the health staff professional should: • arrange appropriate clinical care • establish whether social work and/or the police have discussed the case with the local NHS child protection service, confirming that social work are in contact with the on-call child protection paediatrician • establish whether a joint investigation has been undertaken or planned • consult previous medical records to check any previous attendance for analysis of the information to be shared • share any relevant information, where it is proportionate to do so, with health staff involved in the child or young person’s care