The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a call to healthcare leaders and staff to do more to identify and listen to children at risk of harm, in a report published recently.
‘Not seen, not heard’ looks at how effective health services are in providing early help to children in need, the health and wellbeing of looked-after children and how these services identify and protect children at risk of harm.
All children and young people have the right to be protected from abuse and exploitation and to have their health and welfare safeguarded, the review reminds us.
Although local authorities have overarching responsibility for safeguarding, every organisation and person who comes into contact with a child has a role to play and healthcare professionals are in strong position to address children’s health and welfare needs and safeguarding concerns.
The report concludes that health professionals have improved the way they assess risk and recognise safeguarding concerns, but that services are not consistently protecting and promoting the health and welfare of children. It urges a whole system response to do more to listen to and involve children in need in their care.