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1.2.7 Strategy Meetings - Additional Guidance relating to Children in Hospital

This guidance should be read alongside the Strategy Discussions Procedure.

Staff may also refer to Working Together and London Child Protection Procedures, Child Protection s47 Enquiries Procedure.

  1. It is important when considering Strategy Meetings in hospital that:
    1. The designated nurse for the hospital has been advised of the Strategy Meeting and had an opportunity to consider whether they wish to be present for the Strategy Meeting.
    2. All key health professionals have been invited to the Strategy Meeting.
    3. The Strategy Meeting considers all known risks relating to the behaviour or history of parents and relatives.
    4. A risk assessment related to any substance misuse of parents is considered.
    5. An assessment takes place of parents' and relatives' risk in relation to previous conflict with professionals.
    6. There is consideration of any violence by the parent's previous history or threats of violence or previous convictions.
    7. There is separate consideration of domestic violence and abuse in the family history.
    8. Any previous history of violence towards the subject child or any other child is considered.
    9. Previous history of any sexual assault or conviction is considered.
    10. Previous history of any sexual abuse of children (verified or suspected) is considered.
  2. The chair should formally note the discussion and the consideration of these risks in the minutes of the Strategy Meeting. A review and consideration of the impact of any of these factors on the welfare on safety of a child or unborn child should be formally considered and an action plan drawn up in order to safely manage the situation while a child remains in hospital.
  3. The Strategy Meeting should formally consider the risk of abduction of a child from hospital who has been subject to abuse or is due to be born. The plans to manage a threatened abduction need to be considered in the Strategy Meeting and the risks verified. Consideration of matters such as previous history, threats to abduct the child, concealed and/or hidden pregnancy all need to be carefully thought about and risk assessed. A decision as to who will do this and how this will be done must always be recorded in the minutes.


The recording requirements laid down in Working Together and in the London Child Protection Procedures should also apply to hospital Strategy Meeting. The record of the decisions made at the Strategy Meeting should be circulated at the end of the meeting and relevant decision should also be recorded on the child's hospital file.

Contingency Planning

In all cases where there is a potential risk, a contingency plan should be drawn up to consider various potential situations that may arise. Employment of health assistants should be formally considered at all meetings where there is a high risk of abduction or where particular care needs have been identified in relation to a child.

Legal Issues

If a Strategy Meeting is called as part of a pre-birth process or because of an injury, consideration should be given to inviting a local authority child care solicitor to the Strategy Meeting. This is particularly important where Children's Social Care is considering the need to protect the child while in hospital and/or following discharge.

Involvement with Police

In certain circumstances, hospital services may choose to involve the police where there have been concerns regarding the behaviour of a parent towards the child or towards another adult in the hospital. In these circumstances the local police should be called and consideration should be given to the child becoming subject to Police Protection and the child being secured in hospital. Procedures following decision making while Police Protection is in force should be followed.

Hospital procedures

Hospital staff will familiarise themselves with the hospital procedures relating to management of children on ward where there are concerns.