Safety at home is our concern too!
The safety of our patients - as well as that of their families - is of great importance to us at Erasmus MC. This is why we are particularly alert to any possible signs of domestic violence, neglect, or child or other abuse, for all patients throughout the hospital.
Any kind of abuse or neglect is unacceptable. Care providers are often the first to recognize the physical or other effects of this kind of behavior. They therefore play an important role in identifying patients suffering from domestic violence, neglect, or child or other abuse, which is why all care providers at Erasmus MC work with the ‘Reporting code for domestic violence and child abuse’. All physicians and practitioners are legally bound to use the reporting code if they suspect domestic violence, neglect, and/or child or other abuse.
What is the reporting code?
A reporting code is a guideline, summarized in a step-by-step plan. The code stipulates what physicians or practitioners must do if they have suspicions of elder abuse, domestic violence, or child abuse. It helps our staff members to determine which steps need to be taken when we have concerns about the safety of a patient. It enables us to provide the appropriate care at an early stage, and at times even helps us prevent problems from occurring.
Safety and security for all family members
We are always alert to signs of domestic violence, neglect, and child abuse. In order to assess whether patients live in a safe family environment, we always complete an assessment form. Any signs of violence, neglect, or abuse are recorded in patients’ medicals records in all Erasmus MC departments. The information documented will take into account the complaint/injury that you or your child has and, if necessary, additional questions will be asked about your psychosocial situation.
For example, a ‘child check’ or ‘family caregiver check’ will show whether any children or vulnerable elderly people are dependent on you, and who will take care of them if you are admitted with a serious condition.
If there are suspicions of problems at home and that assistance is needed, the physician will discuss this openly and honestly with you or - in the case of a minor - with the custodian and, if possible, with the child. We want to provide you with as much support in finding suitable assistance as possible, and we want to prevent problems from occurring or getting worse. The guiding principle is safety and security for all family members and the strengthening of family ties.
The physician can also call in the help of one of Erasmus MC’s domestic violence/child abuse special task officers. These are counsellors specialized in the field of domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse. All discussions with the task officers are strictly confidential.
A safe home
In certain situations Veilig Thuis (translated as a Safe Home) will be consulted. Veilig Thuis is a government agency that provides advice and conducts studies on safety in the home environment. The guiding principle is safety and security for all family members and the strengthening of family ties. If there are suspicions of an unsafe home environment, then this must be reported to Veilig Thuis. Veilig Thuis will assess the concerns after talking with the patient.
In cooperation with Veilig Thuis, we refer patients to suitable care providers if necessary. Objections to the sharing of information with third parties can be discussed with the attending physician. Domestic violence never stops by itself. Someone has to do something. The reporting code is there to help. You can also tell us yourself that you have a problem. We are here to help you.
If you have any questions, you can always contact your attending physicians or contact our the special task officers using our contact form.
Additional information can also be found on the site of Veilig Thuis: www.vooreenveiligthuis.nl.