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#360657 - 26th Oct 2009 3:03pm Baby at centre of Wirral child protection concerns

Baby at centre of Wirral child protection concerns

A BABY who suffered sickening injuries was today at the centre of serious concerns over child protection.

Baby A, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was three weeks old when he was admitted to hospital on August 9, 2008 with a brain injury, up to 17 fractures to his ribs and upper limb and shoulder fractures.

He survived but is likely to suffer permanent brain damage.

A Serious Case Review by Wirral’s Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) revealed the day before Baby A was admitted to hospital health workers at Wallasey Walk-in Centre and a GP raised no child protection concerns, despite there being dried blood on the child’s vest, blood in his mucus and a bleed into the white of his left eye.

The report explains a haemorrhage in the eye of a Baby “...should alert specialist health professionals to the possibility of non-accidental injury.

“Extensive or large haemorrhages are more likely to be due to abuse and expert opinion should be sought.

“The haemorrhage in this Baby was very small. No other physical signs were noted but there was altered blood on the Baby’s vest.

“These signs should have resulted in the GP either suspecting or considering non-accidental injury, and a second opinion should have been sought.”

The report also revealed how Arrowe Park Hospital’s Midwifery Service failed to provide the family’s correct address which resulted in the health visitor’s involvement being delayed by almost a week.

Merseyside Police was also criticised for carrying out an interview with an unnamed minor without a social worker present, which could have affected evidence gathering.

Medical director for NHS Wirral Dr Shanila Roohi said: “Safeguarding children and vulnerable people is of the highest priority for the NHS, and we continually look at ways to improve prevention and detection of any untoward events that could happen in Wirral.

“We acknowledge the issues highlighted in the Serious Case Review in relation to the Walk-in Centre in Wallasey, and other aspects of our services.

“There were a number of recommendations for the NHS in the report – we have responded swiftly, and every one of these recommendations has been implemented.

“This is an extremely sad case and these events have caused concern to everyone involved.”

Sandra Shannon, associate director of operations for women and children’s services at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have already taken action to address the recommendation that relates to our organisation.

“We have introduced a new communications checklist that ensures our midwives confirm the correct address details with all new mums prior to their discharge from hospital.”

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “We have fully supported the Serious Case Review carried out by the LSCB and acknowledge its findings. The Force has also reviewed its own internal procedures.

“During the review minor administrative issues have been identified and subsequently addressed. However none of these focused on the quality or integrity of the investigation.”

Child A’s dad Dean Hodkinson, 21, from Wallasey, was charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

The jury trying the former soldier in May was discharged after they failed to reach a verdict and he faces a re-trial.


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#360791 - 27th Oct 2009 2:28am Re: Baby at centre of Wirral child protection concerns [Re: ]
kezzbag Offline


Registered: 23rd Jul 2009
Posts: 232
Loc: floating in the void
I am totally gobsmacked. The child had 17 fractures, they were 3 weeks old! Dried blood? On a Baby so young?! Where does common sense come into it? All the apologies in the world isn`t going to make it better. After all the media attention to child welfare, surely a professional should have remarked on something!?! Why are people too scared to comment on a Baby`s state of health?! I`d have been shouting it from the roof tops. Wouldn`t care who I upset in the process.

#360794 - 27th Oct 2009 7:09am Re: Baby at centre of Wirral child protection concerns [Re: kezzbag]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9786
Loc: Birkenhead
This is a case of the papers sensationalizing. The fault lies mostly with the person that caused the injuries and yet most of the article is looking for blame elsewhere????

Blood/tomato sauce/other stains are not uncommon on babies tops, so no blame there or is a doctor supposed to do a CSI UV blood test on every stain that is somewhere on the red spectrum.

The eye haemorrhage was classed as "very small", the guidelines for probable abuse require "Extensive or large haemorrhages", so no blame there.

Blood in the mucus - again this is quite common when there are colds hanging around.

Even the jury with all the facts in front of them failed to reach a verdict.

I am upset that this can happen, but if people are prepared to do this to kids, there is very little you can do to guarantee prevention, unless you want a total big brother state with cameras in every room of every house. Bullies are always very sneaky, whilst they appear to "lose it", it is usually a very carefully controlled reaction, a brilliant bit of acting, there are very few real psychos out there that genuinely lose control.

On the other hand there is the depressed parent under a lot of pressure with a non-stop screaming Baby on their hands, the word "despair" is often used, many parents at the time know they aren't that far from the edge, but memories fade and they come to despise others that are in that situation.

We need to spend less on trying to blame everything on somebody else and instead find more ways to support families.
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

#360801 - 27th Oct 2009 7:55am Re: Baby at centre of Wirral child protection concerns [Re: diggingdeeper]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7852
Loc: tranmere
I agree with DD on this one, its impossible to recognise every single child being abused, that's not to say we stop trying, laying the blame at Doctors, social workers etc is normally an exercise to satisfy the public and the media outcry. What would the outcry be if a Doctors and child care workers brief was to treat all new parents as sadistic barbaric child abusers and to examine every Baby that comes before them as a child who is getting battered and abused. I think a lot of fuss would be made of that one. We have to find a way of stopping child abuse, but the answer is not going to come from castigating the people who are trying to stop it.
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


#360807 - 27th Oct 2009 9:11am Re: Baby at centre of Wirral child protection concerns [Re: bert1]
paper_boy Offline

Registered: 17th Dec 2007
Posts: 34
Loc: wirral
Just to clarify the Baby had not suffered the fractures when he was examined. It had indicators, blood on vest, a haemorrhage in ihis eye, blood in his nose etc, that definitely should have told health care workers to flag it up as in trouble.

The reason the paper can't look at the cause of the injuries is there are reporting restrictions. It says at the bottom the father Dean Hodkinson will go to trial in January. Opinions can't be written about that in case the jury remembers the story and is influenced.

#360809 - 27th Oct 2009 9:15am Re: Baby at centre of Wirral child protection concerns [Re: paper_boy]
paper_boy Offline

Registered: 17th Dec 2007
Posts: 34
Loc: wirral
Agree with the stuff about castigation though, it doesn't help anyone. The health trust has accepted months before the story that signs were missed. Three symptoms of abuse not uncommon, but all together at the same time?


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