Medical Examinations for Victims of CSA Offences

csa oscp

Message from the Safeguarding Children Partnership Independent Chair

Dear Colleagues

This message is distributed to clarify the recently adopted and current process for considering and arranging forensic and medical examinations for victims of child sexual abuse offences (victims under the age of 18 years).

As from 1 October 2018 the coordination of considering the forensic and medical requirements of child sexual abuse investigations has been the responsibility of the Devon and Cornwall Paediatric Service.

This service provides a single point of access for all sexual assault services (adults and children) and includes:

  • The Sexual Abuse Referral Centre (SARC),
  • Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs), and
  • The Paediatric Service.

One referral will access all these services and is the same for the whole of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  The single point of access is available 24/7.

Staff should follow the steps outlined below. 

Following the identification of an acute (recent) child sexual abuse: 

  1. Strategy discussion with police/child social care/relevant health professional
  2. Police (SOLO/CAIU/PPU etc.) contact the paediatric service to arrange forensic medical assessment at Exeter SARC on: 0300 303 46 26
  3. Police should attend the assessment
  4. The paediatric service will arrange onward support services, e.g. ISVA, local medical support

Following the identification of a non-recent child sexual abuse:

  1. Strategy discussion with police/child social care/relevant health professional
  2. For medical assessments, referrals to Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust duty paediatrician:

Cornwall safeguarding 01872 254552 or RCHT 01872 250000.  (Medical examinations will be undertaken by local paediatricians in Cornwall).

  1. To ensure appropriate support services, e.g. ISVA, complete the online referral form at www.sarchelp.co.uk

Staff are reminded that medical examinations should be considered for all cases.  Medical examinations have many benefits including:

  • Reassurance of normality/lack of injuries
  • Arranging treatment of injuries if required
  • Sexual health treatment and screening
  • Referrals to support services

Where staff have any concerns and require advice over what they need to do please contact 0300 303 46 26.

Best wishes


John Clements
Independent Chair
Our Safeguarding Children Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly


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