University College London Hospital (UCLH) runs a safeguarding clinic dedicated to the long term needs of children and young people who have problems related to:

  • Sexual, gynaecological or genito-urinary health
  • Complex maltreatment including sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, factitious illness and related issues
  • We also see unaccompanied children, refugees and looked after children.

At UCLH we have a breadth of resources and depth of expertise which allow us to provide a unique service for vulnerable children and young people, particularly those in need of safeguarding.

Dr Deborah Hodes is the child protection advisor for UCH and named doctor for child protection in Camden. She has extensive expertise in all aspects of child abuse, and provides opinions for patients referred from several boroughs in cases of child sexual abuse. She works regularly at the Sexual Assault Referral centre, the Haven, Paddington.

Dr Joanna Begent is a consultant paediatrician and named doctor for child safeguarding. Her specialist area of interest is adolescent medicine.

Ms Sarah Creighton is a consultant gynaecologist with unique experience in treating children and adolescents with complex gynaecological problems including female genital mutilation.

The clinic is supported by paediatric nurses and play specialists experienced in this area. In-patient facilities (including dedicated adolescent ward) and hospital school are available if needed. These facilities allow us to refer to other specialists at UCLH, have full access to imaging, microbiology, biochemistry and haematology services so that all investigations can be done within UCH. The unique set up of our clinic allows children to be seen by dedicated experts in an environment where an assessment is seen as a positive experience for the child and family.

We provide a comprehensive service to patients under 19 years of age with problems such as:

  • Medical causes of genito-urinary problems; lichen sclerosis, vulvovaginitis, labial adhesions, complex enuresis (wetting) and encopresis (soiling) etc.
  • Long term / delayed disclosure of sexual abuse.
  • Suspected female genital mutilation
  • Trafficked children
  • Children at risk of sexual exploitation
  • Expert assessment of sexualised behaviour
  • Child on child sexual activity.

We support other health and social care teams in the management of patients with:

  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Teenage termination of pregnancy
  • Suspected sexually transmitted disease.

We provide services to those with complex child protection or child safeguarding needs, and follow up children and young people referred from the Havens, London after acute sexual assault.

We accept referrals from GPs, other hospitals, social care and the police. We provide colposcopy services with photo documentation (DVD), testing for sexually transmitted infections. All investigation can be done with chain of evidence. We also provide reports for court, second opinions, and long term follow up. We provide written reports for families and other agencies and police statements as required.

Contact details

This page is in the process of being updated. In the meantime please contact the UCLH paediatric safeguarding team on 07984 389 643 or email should you have any questions about this service.