Following Lord Laming's report on Baby Peter, the DoH national clinical director for primary care in England Dr David Colin-Thomé has written to all PCTs advising them to closely monitor training in GP practices.
It called for protected time for GPs to attend child protection courses and urged them to ensure all practice managers, receptionists and nurses are given the opportunity too.
Practices should be monitored by PCTs to see how up-to-date skills are and how many child protection case conferences staff attend, said the letter.
An accompanying letter, signed by BMA GP committee chairman Dr Laurence Buckman and Royal College of GPs chairman Professor Steve Field, said child protection ‘is a clear duty for GPs' that must come before any contractual issues.
Jenny Aston, chair of the RCN advanced nurse practitioner association, said it was often difficult for practices to get cover for staff hoping to go on a course or attend a case conference.