Review of child protection cases – GPs and paediatricians walk a tight rope
11 Jul 2012
Complaints against GPs are just as likely as those against paediatricians
Following the General Medical Council’s (GMC) new guidance Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors, analysis by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) of cases investigated by the GMC involving child protection issues has highlighted how GPs and paediatricians are both prone to complaints in this area.
MPS Director of Policy and Communications, Dr Stephanie Bown, said: “This new GMC guidance applies to all doctors, whether they are routinely involved in the care of children or not. Complaints against GPs are just as likely as those against paediatricians, as we’ve seen from around 20 cases where MPS members have been investigated by the GMC over the last five years. Of these cases, parents were the most common complainant to the GMC.
When it comes to issues of child protection, doctors are walking a tight rope
“Common complaints by parents against GPs include providing false or inaccurate information or assessments about the child concerned, as well as allegations that their confidentiality has been breached.
“These cases highlight that when it comes to issues of child protection, doctors are walking a tight rope. On the one hand they can be condemned if they don’t spot abuse or neglect, but on the other hand, they could also find themselves subject to a complaint if they raise concerns about parents or carers.
“What this guidance makes clear is that doctors have to put the interests of the child or young person first, and this of course is what they will be judged against.”
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact: Kelly Ley-Dahm, Media Relations Manager on +44 (0) 20 7399 1428 or at Kelly.Ley-Dahm@mps.org.uk.
Notes to editor
- GMC Guidance – Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors
- Previous press release: MPS welcomes critical child protection guidance for doctors