Help GPs deal with child abuse

GPs should be given training to help them handle cases of suspected child abuse, the RCGP has said.

The college is developing a training programme which has been trialled in Nottingham with initial positive results.

Lincolnshire GP Dr Andrew Mowat, RCGP spokesman on safeguarding children, said: ‘Child protection is a core responsibility for GPs. Anything that you have as a core responsibility you should do some training in.’

Although some basic training is available, Dr Mowat said: ‘What we need is a more detailed training programme and we need to roll it out nationally.’

A survey of 419 doctors, dentists and community nurses in Northern Ireland showed that 60 per cent had seen a child they suspected was being physically abused. However, only 48 per cent reported it.

The need for training to help recognise and report cases of child abuse was backed by 79 per cent of respondents.

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