A tenth of British children are at risk of developing Syndrome N, a disorder linked to childhood neglect according to the opening talk at this year's Primary Care.

In a hard hitting talk Dr Georgie Siggers, who works as a Consultant Community Paediatrician at Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust, said that childhood neglect has serious consequencdes for families and can last a lifetime.

Physical signs of Syndrome can develop in pregnancy she explained and babies with the condition are often born with a low birth rate and have flatering growth, They may have bruises rashes, repeated infections and as they develop their social interaction skills are often poor.

She added that these children may have attachment problems, a trait she sees often in her work assessing children coming into the care system. She explained how often these children have lacked an attachment figure in their lives and that this can affect a child physically (as well as emotionally), with longterm effects on their brain development and learning capacity. 

She urged healthcare professionals to "never lose sight of the child" and urged HCPs to be more confident about flagging up signs of neglect in very young children, before the damage becomes imbedded.

Follow all the action at Primary Care 2012 with @journalfhc on Twitter

Posted by penny.hosie@pavpub.com