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Clinical audit of children's missed dental appointments in a city-wide salaried community dental service in relation to guidance on when to suspect child maltreatment

Harris, Jenny, Firth, Lauren and Chadwick, Barbara Lesley 2017. Clinical audit of children's missed dental appointments in a city-wide salaried community dental service in relation to guidance on when to suspect child maltreatment. Child Abuse Review 26 (3) , pp. 172-183. 10.1002/car.2419

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Abstract

Children's missed healthcare appointments may be an alerting feature of neglect so it is essential that concerns are shared with other professionals. The aim of this clinical audit was to investigate the management of missed dental appointments for children in a city-wide salaried community dental service. Standards for communication with (a) the family, (b) other professionals and (c) child protection referral to social care were developed using NICE Clinical Guidance 89: When to suspect child maltreatment and the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry's policy document on dental neglect. Information collected from a random sample of 100 clinical records included communication actions within six months of a missed appointment and dental outcome. After reporting the first-cycle (C1) results, procedures were modified and staff training provided. Sampling and data collection were repeated annually for two further cycles (C2, C3). Communication standards were not fully met in any cycle. The missed appointment rate was 11–12 per cent. An initial small increase in interprofessional communication, including two child protection referrals to social care, was achieved in C2 together with a reduction in unresolved dental outcomes. However, omissions still occurred and improvements were not maintained in the third cycle, demonstrating insufficient consistency to ensure the protection of vulnerable children.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Uncontrolled Keywords: missed healthcare appointments; non-attendance; safeguarding children; neglect; dental care
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0952-9136
Date of Acceptance: 24 August 2015
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 13:26
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/76356

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