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Confusion about interpretation of medical information on cause of injury: practice issues from Serious Case Reviews

Author(s)

NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO CHILDREN, SOCIAL CARE INSTITUTE FOR EXCELLENCE

Publisher(s):

NSPCC, Social Care Institute for Excellence

This briefing looks at examples of child protection cases where agencies incorrectly interpret medication information from health professionals about possible causes of injuries as definitive, rather than one of a range of possibilities. It is one of a series 14 briefings looking at difficult issues in inter-professional communication and decision-making in children’s safeguarding identified from 38 Serious Case Reviews, with added information gathered from three multi-agency ‘summits’. The briefing draws on a number examples for serious case review reports to highlight the reasons for the wrong interpretation of advice from health professionals, which include a general over-reliance on medical opinion to determine risk, rather than the weighing up of a range of types of evidence. It provides solutions suggested by summit participants and contains a set of self-assessment questions to support managers and practitioners to tackle similar issues in their own local area. (Edited publisher abstract)

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