Child Protection Medical processes

Child Protection Medical processes, including the SARC (Sexual Abuse Referral Centre)

 

What is a child protection medical?

A child protection medical is a medical examination (possibly including blood and urine tests) which is undertaken to assess if a child or young person has been injured as a result of abuse or neglect.

It will include the child or young person being asked questions in relation to any injuries of medical issues identified as a result of the examination.

Only a Doctor may physically examine the child for the purposes of a child protection medical. Other staff should note any visible marks or injuries on a body map and document details in their recording.

Consent must be obtained in order to undertake a Child Protection Medical. If consent is not given a medical cannot take place.

If you know or suspect that a child has suffered abuse you should contact Duty and Advice on 0113 3760336.

 

Purpose of a Child Protection Medical

The purpose of a child protection medical is:

  • To diagnose any injury or harm to the child and to initiate treatment as required;
  • To document the findings;
  • To provide a medical report on the findings, including an opinion as to the probable cause of any injury or other harm reported;
  • To assess the overall health and development of the child;
  • To provide reassurance for the child and parent;
  • To arrange for follow up and review of the child as required, noting new symptoms including psychological effects.

 

When is a child protection medical is necessary

Strategy Discussions must consider, in consultation with the paediatrician, the need for and timing of a child protection medical. Consideration must also be given as to whether there are any other children in the household who may also require a child protection medical.

A child protection medical should always be considered necessary where there has been a disclosure or there is a suspicion of any form of abuse to a child.

Additional considerations are the need to:

  • Secure forensic evidence;
  • Obtain medical documentation.

In cases of severe neglect, physical injury or acute (recent) penetrative sexual abuse, the assessment should be undertaken on the day of the referral, where compatible with the welfare of the child.

All Child Protection Medicals are performed at the St Georges Centre, Middleton, by LCH Community Paediatricians.

Further information regarding the Leeds child protection medical process can be found in the Leeds Multi-Agency Procedure for Professionals Requesting Child Protection Medicals; Pathway
 

 

Child protection medical following a sexual assault

Child protection medicals following known or suspects child sexual abuse are undertaken at the Sexual Abuse Referral Centre (SARC) provided by Mountain healthcare. There is a dedicated paediatric service which undertakes all medical examinations for children and young people aged 15years and under.

Referrals to the SARC for a young person can only be made by a social worker or police officer following a strategy discussion. If you know or suspect that a child has suffered sexual abuse you should contact Duty and Advice on 0113 3760336.

However any professionals can contact the SARC and speak to the Strategy Co-ordinator for advice via 0330 223 1154.

The SARC referral pathways are outlined below.

Further information about the West Yorkshire SARC, The Hazlehurst Centre, can be found at: www.hazlehurstcentre.org

A video providing an overview of the medical examinations in child sexual abuse cases can be found via the Hazelhurst Centre website.


 

Resources

What happens when your child needs a child protection medical; information for patients and carers

Visiting our SARC; a guide for children

Visiting our SARC; a guide for young people

 


SARC Referral Pathways

West Yorkshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Child Sexual Assault Assessment Services (CSAAS)


Children & Young People Aged 0-15 years
Acute Pathway (0-13 days)

Advice available 24/7 via phone
Daily Clinics 7 per week at the Hazlehurst Centre SARC - Morley
Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 18:00
Sundays and Bank Holidays 11:00 - 16:00

Referral into MHL:
All referrals to MHL must be made by Police or Social Care as soon as possible.
All professionals are encouraged to ring MHL for advice.
In the event of acute injuries, the child or young person will be taken to ED and MHL contacted.
Off-site appointments are possible in some circumstances.

Strategy Meeting:
Follow Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships Procedures – if sexual violence or child sexual abuse suspected, organise a strategy meeting involving MHL.

SARC Appointment:
Patient is brought to SARC with an adult who holds Parental Responsibility.
Social Worker or Police Officer must also attend SARC appointment.
All patients will be seen by a Forensic Medical Examiner (FME) and a Paediatric Crisis Worker.

Within the appointment:

  • Holistic assessment of the patient will be undertaken.
  • Patient will be examined for injuries.
  • Forensic samples taken if required.
  • Baseline STI screening is provided if required.
  • Referrals made into external statutory organisations, healthcare, and support services.


Following a SARC Appointment:
Every patient and/or family will receive a holistic follow up two weeks post SARC appointment.
Follow up STI screening completed if needed by our Specialist Sexual Health Nurse Advisor (0-15 years).

Each case is reviewed by our paediatric team.
Medical Reports and Statements are written with appropriate peer review.

Points to consider:
Under 18s with learning disabilities, complex need or familial abuse should be seen within the paediatric service.

Forensic Examination Services provided by Mountain Healthcare - Tel: 0330 223 0099
 

Children & Young People Aged 0-15 years
Non-Acute Pathway (14+ days)

Advice available 24/7 via phone
Non-Recent Clinic by appointment only at Hazlehurst Centre – Morley
Appointments available Monday - Friday


Referral into MHL:
All referrals to MHL must be made by Police or Social Care as soon as possible following a disclosure or concern of sexual abuse/assault of a child or young person with last incident happening 14 days ago or more.
All professionals are encouraged to ring MHL for advice.

Strategy Meeting:
Follow Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships Procedures – if sexual violence or child sexual abuse suspected, organise a strategy meeting involving MHL.

Non-Recent Clinic SARC Appointment (Wednesdays):
Patient is brought to SARC with an adult who holds Parental Responsibility.
Social Worker or Police Officer must also attend SARC appointment.
All patients will be seen by a Forensic Medical Examiner (FME) and a Paediatric Crisis Worker.

Within the appointment:

  • Holistic assessment of the patient will be undertaken.
  • Patient will be examined for injuries.
  • Baseline STI screening is provided if required.
  • Referrals made into external statutory organisations, healthcare, and support services.


Following a SARC Appointment:
Every patient and/or family will receive a holistic follow up two weeks post SARC appointment.
Follow up STI screening completed if needed by our Specialist Sexual Health Nurse Advisor (0-15 years).

Each case is reviewed by our paediatric team.
Medical Reports and Statements are written with appropriate peer review.

Points to consider:
Under 18s with learning disabilities, complex need or familial abuse should be seen within the paediatric service.

Forensic Examination Services provided by Mountain Healthcare - Tel: 0330 223 0099