Review decision date: February 2014

Review decision: 

Following consultation with stakeholders this guideline has now been placed on the static list.

Next review date: TBC

The advice in this guideline covers the alerting features in children and young people (under 18 years) of:

  • physical, sexual and emotional abuse
  • neglect
  • fabricated or induced illness.

The guideline does not specifically look at:

  • risk factors for child maltreatment
  • the identification of child maltreatment and procedures for supporting the child or young person
  • education and information for parents or children or young people
  • training for healthcare professionals
  • child protection procedures.

This guideline was previously called when to suspect child maltreatment.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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