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What should I expect if my child is subject to a CP Medical?

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A Child Protection Medical is also known as a CP Medical, a Section 47 Medical or a Paediatric Medical Assessment. The Local Authority may request that a CP Medical is completed where there is suspicion or disclosure of child abuse and/or neglect or a referral has been made. A referral can be made from a number of agencies such as education, health and police.   

Where there is a concern of an injury there will be a strategy decision meeting, this meeting will include all of the professionals involved and will need to take place within one day of the referral. Once a decision has been made and mutually agreed by the professionals the CP Medical if possible must be completed on the same day.

If a referral concerns physical injury or severe neglect a CP Medical may be required of all of the children within the household. A blood test and a skeletal survey will always be considered for children under the age of 2 depending on the injuries. And a skeletal survey will be considered for siblings under the age of 2 when physical abuse is suspected or proven. A skeletal survey is a series of X-rays which includes the entire skeleton, they are used to identify widespread abnormalities of the skeleton.

The purpose of a CP Medical assessment is to establish the health and wellbeing of the child and to establish if there is any medical evidence of abuse or neglect. The outcome of a CP Medical includes a record of any physical findings and the medical team will offer an opinion as to whether, given the information available, they feel neglect or deliberate harm has occurred.

If it is not a matter of emergency, the Local Authority will seek consent by the parents, or anyone who has parental responsibility for the child at the time for the CP Medical to be completed. If consent is not obtained then it will be up to the examining doctor to act in the best interests of the child. This may include going ahead with the CP Medical without consent.

After the CP Medical the results will be discussed before the child is allowed to leave the hospital. The child will be admitted to hospital if there are injuries requiring medical attention, there are further investigations required or for other medical reasons at the discretion of the consultant. It is normal for a follow up appointment to be requested to ensure that the injury has not become any worse, fractures can take up to 14 days to show on an X-ray. 

If you have Local Authority involvement with your children at Child Protection level ranging through to Care Proceedings in the Family Court then Emery Johnson Astills can assist you. We have experience in assisting parents at all stages of Local Authority involvement and we have knowledge of CP Medicals and can advise you in relation to this. Please contact Emery Johnson Astills at either our Leicester Office on 0116 255 4855 or our Loughborough Office on 01509 610 312 and ask for a member of the Care Team so that we can advise you accordingly. Alternatively, please visit either of the above offices or email us on careteam@johnsonastills.com and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.