Chaperons for child protection medical examinations: A missing link? (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Saran S.; Ganesh M.; Yousif E.

Citation:
Archives of Disease in Childhood; Jun 2019; vol. 104

Abstract:
Background: Child protection medical examinations should be undertaken in the presence of a chaperone. This as a good practice recommendation is clearly stated in the Child Protection companion. Aim(s): We undertook an audit of Child Protection medical examination reports to see if our practice meets the standards set by RCPCH in Child Protection companion. Method Child protection companion’s model report was chosen as the standard to compare our practices. Hospital-based electronic patient records system (clinical portal) was used to review the reports by a single auditor. Twenty-eight reports were randomly selected. These children undertook Child Protection medical examination at a District General Hospital over a period of 14 months from January’2017 to February’2018. Demographics Three-fourth were boys & one-fourth were girls. Fifteen percent were under 1 year old, sixty percent were between 1 & 5 years old and twenty-five percent were over 5 years old. Timeliness Three-fourth of the reports were typed within 72 hours of CP medical examination. Quality All (100%) the reports stated the source of information and recommendations made after assessment. Over three-fourth reports stated informed consent was taken; included a brief introduction of the author and information about the growth centiles. Two-third reports established that child’s concerns were recorded. Reference to the evidence-based literature was made in fifteen percent of the reports. Only seven percent of the reports stated use of Chaperones and amendments in the report after peer review meeting. Three percent of the reports stated both the time and date of referral. Recommendations Our audit highlighted that Chaperons is an underused entity in child protection medical examinations. Chaperons are not only supposed to provide assurance to the child and family but also offers clinicians with an extra layer of protection in case of a complaint. Thus we strongly advocate using Chaperon’s in all cases of Child Protection Medicals unless declined by the child/family. In that case, this should be clearly documented. There is also a pressing need to improve the quality of overall documentation.

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