Child Protection Service Delivery Standards Audit - report

Our nationwide audit collected data from services across the UK responsible for conducting child protection medical assessments within working hours. The audit aimed to encourage best practice in service delivery, and provide the data needed to support quality improvement activity in this area. Read our resulting report below.
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Last modified
16 May 2024

National report 2023

The RCPCH Child Protection Service Delivery Standards Audit National Report 2023 details the results an audit of the Good practice service delivery standards for the management of children referred for child protection medical assessments (PDF).

The audit shows positive national results in many areas, with the necessary arrangements to meet service delivery standards in areas such as the peer review process, the timeliness of assessments and the use of standardised proformas in place at the majority of services participating in the audit. However, the report highlights a need to better protect our safeguarding workforce. Services need greater resource and provision in areas such as chaperoning, and clinician support.

The report also explores service delivery models that exist when delivering child protection medical assessments. It demonstrates a varied landscape, with dedicated child protection suites in some areas, to a lack of photography provision in others.

Download the full report below

Audit data

An Excel report generator is available to download via SharePoint. Using this, you can view participant service, Trust, Health Board, Integrated Care Board, region and country data. Please ensure you enable macros when prompted.

A help guide to the report generator is also available on the SharePoint site.

You can also download below a visual representation of UK summary data and all free text responses collected as part of the audit.

Background, aims and participation

In 2020, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the Child Protection Special Interest Group (CPSIG) published the Good practice service delivery standards for the management of children referred for child protection medical assessments (PDF).

These standards were created following discussions between Named and Designated doctors for safeguarding children, which highlighted variations in the ways in which children, families and professionals experience the process of a medical assessment when there are child protection concerns related to physical abuse and neglect.

The standards set a benchmark for service delivery and consider the range of processes and procedures that make up the often complex situation of a medical assessment in the context of child protection concerns.

Between March and July 2023 a national audit of these standards was conducted.

The audit aimed to:

  • help understand the extent to which the standards are being implemented across the UK
  • explore models of service delivery
  • understand how well current service delivery infrastructure supports teams to meet the standards
  • encourage best practice in service delivery where child protection medical assessments are being conducted.

Participation in the audit was not a mandatory requirement. A total of 132 UK services registered to participate. A full audit submission was provided by 118 services, six services provided a partial submission, and eight services did not make a submission within our data collection period. A regional breakdown of participating services can be found in the Appendix and further resources section of the national report, which you can download below.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the audit, please email