I've written before about Social Services and the less-than useless service that we get from them in our area.
And in a week in the UK when social services were once again 'exonerated' for their role in the death of another child , Brandon Muir ,at the hands of his mothers' "partner" ,we had yet another problem at work .
A 3-year old boy was brought in by his mother on Monday evening...at 2030...because she thought that he may have drunk up to 100mls of mouthwash.She had phoned Poison Information and had been told to go straight to St Vulva's due to the possible toxicity of the fluoride in the reported quantity of mouthwash.
Now it was difficult to know if the lad really had drunk the mouthwash...except to say that his breath smelt 'fresh 'n minty'...as did his pyjamas.
She of course just couldn't be bothered to make a (free) phone call to get a (free) ambulance.
Instead,she bundled the child into a pram,and walked to our Unit.
The triage Nurse,the ENP looking after the child and I all recognised both the mum and the toddler.And their names were flagged on the computer with "special notes".Now the 'notes' can and do say lots of things including quite innocuous remarks about referrals and treatment plans....but they are typically used to highlight nutters or children at risk.
She had been in the Unit 2 months ago with burns to her arms and hands...she told us then that her son had tried to set her alight whilst she was having a little nap...in fact he had also been burnt...and her main concern that evening was getting treated as quickly as possibly as she had a date!
In the past few months her son had also been brought in having sustained a minor head injury after being allegedly assaulted by his father,a known paranoid schizophrenic,in an incident in which the police had been called.
Additionally , he had also brought in with D&V after having apparently eaten raw mince.
The ENP looking after him pulled up his notes and found that urgent referrals had been made to Social Services requesting 'immediate action' on all three occasions.
Surprised that he was still at home with his useless single-parent,teenage mother on benefits, she then pulled up the SS notes...only to find that on all three occasions,that Social Services did not think that the child was at risk for physical or mental abuse and so declined to look any further into the home situation.
You couldn't make it up !!
Fortunately this time,he warranted another admission to the Peads service...so perhaps he will be properly assessed this time....although I'm not going to be holding my breath since they have done bugger all to protect this child in the past.
No wonder I'm taking so much sick leave!!