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Safeguarding children - responding to suspected abuse

Peter Ellis - Independent Nursing, Health and Social Care Consultant, Writer and Educator First published: Last updated:

Why you must do something

Nurses are obliged to report all and any suspected abuse of children, not only as part of their contract of employment but also by their professional Code (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2018). Many nurses when faced with a suspicion of child abuse will feel they need some validation from others before pursuing their suspicions (Lines et al., 2017). The feeling that they lack the knowledge and skills to pursue potential child abuse, suggests the need for better training and support in this area for many nurses.

Delayed and absent responses to suspicions of abuse have contributed to many high-profile child deaths in the UK in the last 30 years. These include that of baby Peter (Local Safeguarding Children Board, Haringey, 2009) and Victoria Climbié (Laming, 2003) with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC, 2021a) suggesting that at least one child

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Peter Ellis