Supporting a child under 18

Children and Young People under the age 18 years

All children and young people, male or female, of any age can be seen at The Oak Centre for a forensic medical assessment by a dedicated team of forensic physicians, paediatricians, and a specialist nurse.

We will offer a forensic medical examination to all children and young people who have disclosed sexual abuse or where there are concerns about the possibility of sexual abuse, even in the absence of a disclosure.

The forensic medical assessment is holistic assessment that considers the physical and mental wellbeing of the child as well as identifying any opportunities for the collection of forensic evidence for criminal investigations and / or court proceedings. The assessment process and aftercare has many important and valuable therapeutic aspects.

The assessment may include:

  • Asking questions about a child’s medical, family and social background.
  • A routine medical examination, including listening to heart and lungs, feeling the abdomen, checking ears, nose and throat.
  • Checking for injuries on all body surfaces, as well as the external genitalia and external anal area.
  • Considering if any forensic samples are required and if so collecting these samples. Samples may include urine samples and swabs (like a cotton bud that is wiped over the surface of the skin).
  • Answering questions and talking about concerns that a child or their parents may have.
  • Discussing the risk of sexually transmitted infections, such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, together with HIV and hepatitis B infections from the assault/abuse
  • Considering if any samples are required to look for infections
  • In females, considering if emergency contraception, such as the ‘morning after pill’ is needed. This can be provided at the time of the forensic medical assessment.

The child or young person and their family will have the support of a specialist nurse throughout the medical assessment. We provide a safe and supportive environment and allow families to take it at their own pace. We have a range of toys and games for children to play with to help them relax and feel comfortable, whilst our specialist nurse provides invaluable support for child and their families throughout the process.

More information about forensic medical examination for children and young people under the age of 18 years can be found here – supporting a child under 13, what happens at the SARC.

Further information can be found on a “Frequently Asked Questions Factsheet

If you would like to refer a patient to The Oak Centre SARC, please complete the referral form and return to us at ndht.OakCentreEnquiries@nhs.net

Oak Centre referral form (word doc)

 

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