Background There is concern about the increasing risk of young people to sexual exploitation and it is essential that services which young people may self refer to have systems in place to ensure that if vulnerable young people attend these risks are detected and acted on.
Aim We aimed to evaluate whether young people accessing our services are being adequately assessed for safeguarding risks and whether these are being addressed appropriately within our services.
Method We identified all patients aged < 16 years who attended our clinics over a 6 month period (February - August 2012). Date was collected from electronic patient records (EPR) and analysed using an Excel spreadsheet.
There were 336 attendees of which 78 were new patients and these were audited. The median age was 15 years (range 13–15 years). 77 were heterosexual. There was clear full documentation in 65 patients. The main reason for attendance were contraception, STI screening, pregnancy tests and termination of pregnancy referrals. 79% (62) were sexually active and the median number of partners in the preceding 3 months was 1 (range 0–7). The median partner’s age was 15 (range 14–22) years. The median age differential was 1 year (range 3–8 years). 74% (58) had documented Fraser competency assessment and this increased to 100% (56/56) where a young person proforma was used. 57 were Fraser competent.
54 were in school and 13 reported involvement of social services. 13 cases had safeguarding concerns and their management will be discussed.
Recommendations Were to ensure all < 16 year olds are managed using the clinic’s young person’s proforma, all have a documented assessment of Fraser competency and safeguarding risks, patients with risks are highlighted in EPR and monthly supervision is done to share best practise.
- sexual risk
- Young People