6: The Medical Assessment and Admission to Hospital

Please note that this chapter is pending an update. For information on when this is due, please contact the PCO UK Team.

The assessment of the child should be carried out by a paediatrician with Level 3 competences as per Safeguarding Children and Young people: roles and competences for health care staff.
Where a trainee carries out the assessment, they should be supervised by a consultant or senior paediatrician.
All child protection assessments should be carried out within timescales appropriate to the type of abuse and the requirement for collection of evidential samples:
    Physical injury: within 24 hours
    Acute sexual assault: as soon as possible to obtain forensic evidence and prevent pregnancy and infection
    Historic sexual abuse, neglect or emotional abuse: the referral should be assessed according to clinical need and requirement of the child protection process. Children should not be kept waiting for more than 10 working days from the point of referral, unless there are clear mitigating factors agreed by all parties
    Where police investigation or protection from harm is required: within 24 hours.
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