Governance arrangements for health facilities used to obtain forensic evidence from children subject to sexual assault will be for local determination and should be in keeping with national guidance on safeguarding children.
The Department of Health, the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers published joint guidance in October 2009 which sets out the minimum elements essential for providing high quality Sexual Assault Referral Centres for adults and children who are victims of sexual assault. This covers forensic medical examination.
Clinical standards, ‘Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse—An Evidence Based Review and Guidance for Best Practice', was published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in March 2008. The standards describe physical signs of sexual abuse, the strength of evidence of those signs being due to sexual abuse and issues for clinical practice. Good practice in history taking, obtaining consent, examination technique, photo documentation, forensic sampling and testing for sexually transmitted diseases is described.
In addition, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published clinical guidelines in July 2009 on how to recognise child maltreatment which includes how to recognise signs of sexual abuse.