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Scottish nurses asked for views on first abused child pathway

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The first ever clinical pathway for children who have suffered sexual abuse is being developed in Scotland - and nurses are being asked for their feedback.

The resource will set out the journey that a child survivor should take through the health service and the care, information and support they should expect to receive.

“I would call on all healthcare professionals to share their views”

Catherine Calderwood

The guide will be for healthcare professionals in Scotland who work with this group of people, and could also be used by health boards and local authorities to inform the way they deliver and structure services.

The work is being led by the chief medical officer for Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood, who chairs a taskforce to improve forensic medical and healthcare services for people who suffer rape and sexual assault. 

Catherine Calderwood

Catherine Calderwood

Catherine Calderwood

Dr Calderwood’s vision is for “consistent, person-centred and trauma-informed” support for all survivors. 

A consultation has been launched to help support the development of the “clinical pathway for children and young people who have disclosed sexual abuse”, and healthcare professionals are being urged to get involved.  

Dr Calderwood said: “This clinical pathway is an important part of our wider work to improve services for victims of sexual assault and abuse across Scotland. 

“The care we provide to every single child and young person in this situation has to be of the very highest standard,” she noted. 

“It’s important we get this right”

Jeane Freeman 

“I would call on all healthcare professionals who work with young victims to share their views and expertise through this consultation,” she added.

Scottish health secretary, Jeane Freeman, said the clinical pathway would improve care for young people. 

Scottish government

Jeane Freeman

Source: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Jeane Freeman

“It is absolutely essential that any child or young person who has suffered sexual abuse is given all the support and care they need,” she said. 

“The health service has a vital role to play in this, so it’s important we get this right,” she added. 

“By establishing a national clinical pathway we can make sure that healthcare professionals have the guidance and information they need to make sure that every single child is properly cared for,” said Ms Freeman. 

To view the consultation, visit:

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