GPs 'could do more' to help children at risk of abuse

GPs should be given more responsibility to spot cases of child abuse to help prevent the "acute pressure" social services faces in dealing with the problems, a children's charity has said.

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GPs 'ideally placed' to spot warning signs of child abuse

A report written by NSPCC, the Royal College of GPs and researchers from the University of Surrey and University College London, states family doctors are ideally placed to spot early warning signs of child abuse.

The report states:

At a time when child protection services are under acute pressure and the role of universal services is under scrutiny, our report raises a crucial question for policy makers and professionals: is it time to rethink the role of the GP for children with maltreatment-related concerns and their families?"

We suggest that reconceptualising the GP's role to include direct responses to certain children and families.

GPs 'could do more' to help children at risk of abuse

GPs should be given more responsibility to spot cases of child abuse to help prevent the "acute pressure" social services faces in dealing with the problems, a children's charity has said.

The NSPCC claims family doctors are often only seen as a referral service to pass cases along to social services.

The NSPCC said that GPs could contribute a new 'public health approach'. Credit: PA Wire

However, GPs could do more to help children and families at risk if they were given more autonomy, time and support, they added.

The NSPCC said that GPs could contribute a new "public health approach" that could reduce the number of children needing to enter the child protection system.

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