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Pathway for children admitted to PICU at RHC when there is a concern of abuse or neglect

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Child Protection


Pathway of care for  children admitted to PICU at RHC when there is a concern of Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse or Neglect and guidance notes.

It is the responsibility of clinical staff within PICU to recognise and act on child protection concerns identified at or during the child’s admission to PICU. It is the expectation that for unscheduled acute admissions that mostly these concerns will have been identified either in the Emergency Department or at the patient’s base hospital, often the Child Protection team will have been contacted by these clinicians. The first priority will always be the medical safety and stability of the child. Usually the only action required immediately by the PICU team in terms of Child Protection process will be to share information about the child’s admission with social work (if not already done so by the local team). It is important the family are kept informed of any ongoing child protection process and it is the responsibility of the PICU team to ensure that parents are
updated of social work and Child Protection referrals and made aware of what these entail.

Where a child is admitted out of hour’s concerns regarding child protection can usually be actioned the following day UNLESS there are life threatening injuries and/ or concerns regarding the safety of any other children in the family. In a situation where there is a concern regarding acute sexual assault it would also be appropriate to discuss with the child protection consultant on call.

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 01 July 2021

Next review: 01 July 2022

Author(s): Dr Kirsty Houston, PICM Grid Trainee; Dr Owen Forbes Consultant in Child Protection

Version: 1

Approved By: Child Protection Acute Operational Group