It is clear from national guidance that all Doctors have to be able to demonstrate competence in safeguarding children and to undertake regular training. There is also specific guidance on what competences are required for specific roles and responsibilities.
GMC guidancec states that all doctors have a duty to act on any concerns they have about the safety or welfare of a child or young person. This includes doctors who treat adult patients.
It also states for all doctors;
- You must*develop and maintain the knowledge and skills to protect children and young people at a level that is appropriate to your role. Information about the level of child protection training that is needed for different roles, and how often doctors should receive that training, is provided in Safeguarding children and young people: roles and competences for health care staff, Intercollegiate Document i (ICD). You should also take part in training on how to communicate effectively with a wide range of groups of parents, children and young people.
*In this guidance ....‘You must’ is used for an overriding duty or principle.
- If you work with adults, you should make sure you are able to identify risk factors in their environment that might raise concerns about abuse or neglect and whether patients pose a risk to children or young people close to them.
NHS Wales also requires all healthcare staff to satisfy the competences in the ICDi to the appropriate level for their role.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) includes the right of the child to protection from harm. Safeguarding is relevant to many of the Articles of the treaty, particularly Articles 3, 6, 19, 34 and 39.j Welsh Government has made it a duty for there to be due regard to the UNCRC in all it’s decisions and policies.k
There is now a section of the MARS website that asks all doctors to declare what level of competence they have maintained over their current revalidation cycle.