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Specialist nurses working with children in care need role clarity, says RCN lead

The RCN, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have published a role framework for professionals working with looked after children

Specialist nurses working with children in care are being let down by a lack of role clarity, according to RCN professional lead for children and young people’s nursing, Fiona Smith.

The RCN, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have published a guidance for all healthcare professionals working with looked after children in the UK.

There are an estimated 92,000 children in care across the UK and they have higher incidence of long term conditions such as speech and language delay compared with children who are not in care.

Ms Smith said: ‘Evidence shows that many children in care credit their specialist nurse above all others with helping them to turn their lives around.’

A RCN survey published this year found similar roles were given different job titles from area to area, so professionals outside of looked after children nurse teams and services do not understand the purpose of the teams or the professionals in them.

The guidance sets out knowledge, skills and competences required by professionals working with looked after children to provide greater clarity.

It also recommends a minimum of one full time specialist nurse per 100 looked after children.

To read the full guidance, click here

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