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  5. Working in partnership

Protecting children and young people: The responsibilities of all doctors

Working in partnership

Key points

  • Understand the roles of other professionals and agencies responsible for protecting children and young people and work in partnership with them.
  • Contribute to child protection procedures and provide relevant information to child protection meetings if you are not able to go to them.
  • Know who your named or designated professional or lead clinician is and how to contact them.

Working jointly with others and communicating effectively

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You must work with and communicate effectively with colleagues in your team and organisation and with other professionals and agencies. This includes health visitors, other nurses, social workers and the police.

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You should understand and respect the child protection roles, responsibilities, policies and practices of other agencies and professionals and cooperate with them. You must be clear about your own role and responsibilities in protecting children and young people, and be ready to explain this to colleagues and other professionals.

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You should make sure you have effective systems for communicating with health visitors, child protection leads and other statutory agencies, either on a regular basis or as the need arises. You must know who to contact and how to contact them.

Participating in child protection procedures

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If you are asked to take part in child protection procedures, you must cooperate fully. This should include going to child protection conferences, strategy meetings and case reviews to provide information and give your opinion. You may be able to make a contribution, even if you have no specific concerns (for example, general practitioners are sometimes able to share unique insights into a child’s or young person’s family).

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If meetings are called at short notice or at inconvenient times, you should still try to go. If this is not possible, you must try to provide relevant information about the child or young person and their family to the meeting, either through a telephone or video conference, in a written report or by discussing the information with another professional (for example, the health visitor), so they can give an oral report at the meeting.