Dental care professionals (DCPs) can certainly suspect foul play, wrongs, abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults by analyzing the nature of injuries according to the general dental council. Such incidents must be brought to the notice of the local health board, as a way to protect vulnerable people, GDC advised.
It is important that all registrants know of who to contact at the local health trust so that they can contact the board for assistance, according to the newly drafted laws on child protection.
The GDC points out that dentists and DCPs must make a note of injuries, burns, bruises and eye problems, recognizing severe cases of abuse.
GDC President Hew Mathewson said, 'It is the responsibility of all members of the dental team to know what to do if they are concerned about the possible abuse or neglect of children and vulnerable adults. If you make a professional judgment and decide not to share your concern with the appropriate authority, you must be able to justify how you came to this decision. If you are unsure of the local procedures in your area, you have a duty to find out what they are, whether you work for the NHS or in private practice.'
The GDC website has the latest statement on child protection which may be a guideline to recognize and seek help for problems of child abuse and neglect.