Three-quarters of NHS hospitals in England cannot guarantee the safety of children in their care, the government’s health watchdog warned today in a “wake-up call” to shock doctors and managers into improving services.
The Healthcare Commission said nearly one in five NHS trusts did not provide effective life support for children brought in for emergency treatment at night last year. More than half of hospitals did not give staff adequate training in child protection, ignoring procedures put in place after the death of the child abuse victim Victoria Climbié in 2000. Many doctors in outpatient clinics and day surgery units knew little about pain relief for children, and the majority of NHS surgeons and anaesthetists lacked essential training in how to communicate with children.
Most hospitals unsafe for children, report finds