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RCN publishes updated child safeguarding guidance

College highlights importance of nurses learning how to prevent harm 

College highlights importance of nurses learning how to prevent harm 


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Nurses who have any contact with children have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare, and should know what to do if they have concerns about child protection, the RCN has said.

The college’s reminder comes as it publishes updated safeguarding guidance for healthcare staff responsible for the care and protection of children and young people.

The framework, produced in collaboration with 20 other healthcare organisations, including the Institute of Health Visiting, provides guidance on how to protect children and young people, and what to do in the event that they come to harm.

The document takes into account changes to legislation and statutory guidance, and includes education, training and learning logs that staff can fill in to form a learning ‘passport’ if they move to new jobs or other organisations.

Taking appropriate action

RCN professional lead for children and young people’s nursing Fiona Smith said: ‘Wherever staff are working, they need to be able to recognise when somebody in their care could be at risk, and must have the right skills and knowledge to take appropriate action.

‘The importance of prevention should also not be overlooked, and the guidance in this new document gives those caring for children and young people the vital learning needed to prevent harm, as well as outlining what to do should something go wrong.

‘The learning draws from research, case studies and serious case reviews, and gives individuals the expertise needed to offer the protection children and young people deserve.’

Senior focus

Ms Smith added that the framework includes information for chief executives and other senior leaders because they have overall responsibility for child protection, and will help them to ensure that all staff receive the relevant training.

‘Some high-profile cases in the past have shown the consequences of not having the right skills and procedures in place,’ said Ms Smith.

‘The aim of this document is to give staff looking after vulnerable children and young people the knowledge needed to prevent such tragedies from happening again.’


Read the guidance

Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competencies for Healthcare Staff 


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