Referrals to other agencies
An experienced/senior member of the medical team must be involved when there are child protection concerns.
• Social care: lead agency for investigation of child abuse.
• Police service: frequently involved in the initial joint investigation or when criminal prosecution is likely.
• Inform parents unless likely to result in further harm to the child.
• Referral does not need parental permission.
• Specific concerns should be clearly stated.
• Telephone referrals should be confirmed in writing.
• All referrals should be followed up if no acknowledgement is received or action taken.
The child’s safety is of equal importance with their medical treatment.
If hospitalization for medical treatment is not indicated they should not be discharged without a clear plan and decision about place of safety and future follow-up. This will be the joint decision and responsibility of the multidisciplinary agencies (medical, social care, and police). The police should be immediately informed if the parents/carers attempt to remove the child from hospital before these decisions are made.