Child Protection is important to ensure wellbeing of children. We take child protection and consent for any sort of treatment very seriously.
The General Osteopathic Council considers that a ‘child’ is a person under the age of 16 years and a ‘young person’is a person aged 16 or 17 years.
So anyone below the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, when they come for an appointment. Alternatively, another chaperone can accompany the child; on the condition the parent or legal guardian has written note or letter to the osteopath to give permission for the child to have treatment.
The child may have the capacity to consent, depending on their maturity and ability to understand what is involved. So consent may involve the child’s parent or legal guardian. Although the Osteopathic Practice Standards (OPS) do state that if a child with capacity gives their consent to treatment,a parent cannot override that consent.
Whereas a young person can be treated as an adult and can be presumed to have the ability to make decisions about their own care.
If a child or young person with capacity refuses treatment, that refusal may, in certain circumstances, be overridden. The need to override refusal of osteopathic treatment is likely to be rare according to the OPS.
If the practitioners suspect harm or abuse to the child by the parent or legal guardian, then there maybe a legal requirement to inform the appropriate authorities to protect the child.
If you have any queries or doubts, feel free to contact the clinics for further information or queries.