A damning report on levels of childcare within the NHS has claimed that doctors don't even know how to hold a baby correctly.
The review, by the former chairman of the Healthcare Commission watchdog, Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, found that up to half of GPs had not had formal paediatric training, with many 'lacking the confidence to assess children effectively'.
The report also claims that many parents have so little confidence in their GPs that they go straight to A&E with their children, rather than the doctor's surgery.
The study's author warned that if standards of childcare within the NHS do not improve, abuse cases could be missed.
Professor Sir Ian Kennedy said that one GP told him that many of his colleagues 'don't even know how to hold a baby' and that formal paediatric training had not been undertaken by up to half of family doctors in many parts of the country.
A spokesperson from Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health welcomed the findings, saying: 'This is a crucial document for the future health of children. We support Sir Ian's emphasis on the joining up of children's services. We also strongly support his emphasis on early intervention, as it helps to ensure the best outcomes for children and is a crucial investment for their well-being in later life. This requires making sure that any health professional, particularly in primary care, who sees a child has the skills to best support their needs.'
The Government responded in a statement from Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, who said: 'Sir Ian Kennedy's review has revealed the true scale of the issues facing the health service.
'It tells us important things about the lack of effective, integrated and responsive services we have inherited.'
What do you think?
Have you ever felt that GPs and health professionals lack of basic childcare knowledge and understanding?