Child Protection Standing Committee updates

A summary from this committee, which is responsible for championing the safeguarding agenda for children and young people and which meets three times a year.

February 2019

Recent / upcoming publications

  • The fourth edition of Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and Competences for Healthcare Staff was updated in 2018, led by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). You can find the latest version published on the RCN website (January 2019). RCPCH are in the process of developing a complementary guide for our members, to support navigation of the latest intercollegiate document. This guide will ensure that our members fully understand the competences that are required of them. We hope this will be available later in March 2019.
  • RCPCH have been supporting NHS England and partners in updating the Healthcare Standards for Children and Young People in Secure Settings (2013). The refreshed standards will be published by RCPCH in April 2019. These are for England only. 
  • The Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine have updated a number of their publications, which can be found on the FFLM website.
  • An updated RCPCH systematic review on visceral injuries has been published (January 2019). This systematic review evaluates the literature on abusive and non-abusive visceral injuries. 

Current work (2019 workplan)

  • Expert witnesses: RCPCH are working with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in the development of Guidance for Health Professionals acting as Expert or Professional Witnesses. We have also joined a working group with the Family Court looking at the difficulties they are experiencing in finding expert witnesses, particularly in paediatrics. We will be surveying members on this shortly. 
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS): RCPCH are in discussion with RCGP with regards to their EDS toolkit and the content in relation to children. RCPCH is drafting a position statement on EDS to provide clarity for our members, which we hope will be available in the next couple of months. 
  • Mandatory reporting: The RCPCH position on mandatory reporting was last reviewed in 2015-16. Given the evidence and activity since that date, the committee agreed to put the RCPCH position on mandatory reporting under review in 2019. The evidence will be analysed by a small task and finish group and recommendations on whether the position needs to be updated will be presented to the CPSC later in the year.
  • Peer review guidance: The Committee agreed to update the RCPCH guidance on peer review in the 2019 workplan. This was last updated in 2012. RCPCH regularly receives queries and clarifications relating to peer review that will be considered in this update. 
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) workforce: RCPCH and FFLM are working with NHS England to support their SARC workforce review in England.
  • Perplexing Presentations / FII guidance update: A full draft of the update to the 2009 guidance has now been completed and is with the multidisciplinary working group for review. RCPCH are hoping to launch this updated guidance before the summer.
  • Good Practice standards for the management of children referred for child protection medical assessments: CPSIG (Child Protection Special Interest Group) have been leading the development of these joint CPSIG-RCPCH standards. These are expected to be published later in 2019.


  • The RCPCH Clinical Standards & Quality Improvement team are accepting requests and ideas for new child protection systematic reviews to undertake. Current suggestions being explored include nutritional neglect and low-level falls. Suggestions are being accepted on a rolling basis – please fill out and share this form.
  • RCPCH are seeking funding opportunities for updating the Purple Book (Child Sexual Abuse Evidence Reviews) and welcome suggestions for opportunities for organisations to approach for support.

Items for information

  • RCPCH Conference and exhibition will take place 13-15 May 2019 at the ICC Birmingham. The CPSC and Child Protection Special Interest Group (CPSIG) joint symposium will take place on Monday 13 May. CPSC are also hosting a workshop on Tuesday 14 May to discuss the update of the RCPCH Perplexing Presentations / Fabricated and Induced Illness guidance.
  • Patrick Myers from the Department of Work and Pensions gave a presentation to the committee on the Reducing Parental Conflict programme. The programme encourages local authorities across England to integrate services and approaches which address parental conflict into their local services for families. Funding for training of frontline professionals is available for areas across England. More information is hosted on the Early Intervention Foundation website.

Further updates to follow. If you would like to get involved or find out more about the committee's work, please contact