Sky news reported the story today as follows:-
The 17-month-old boy - known only as Baby P - suffered injuries similar to the "force of a car crash".
Just two days before the boy was found dead in his blood-spattered cot, a doctor failed to spot his broken spine.
And police told the mother she would not be prosecuted after being arrested twice for suspected child cruelty.
The toddler was found dead in his home in north London on August 3 last year.
Baby P had more than 50 injuries or bruises and an attempt had been made to cover up the crime. By the end, he was unrecognisable, his curly, golden locks shaved off.
He had a broken back, nine fractured ribs, fingernails and a toenail missing, a severe mouth injury, a ripped ear and extensive bruising on his body.
He also had sores and puncture wounds on his head.
Here's the deal Mr Brown:-
- It is not possible to rehabilitate parents who physically or sexually abuse their children despite what the social workers say.Period.
- It might be possible to rehabilitate parents who neglect their children but no one at the sharp end really believes that either.'Neglect' is the precursor to violence.
- The parents may or may not have been abused themselves as a child-frankly I do not care-its their child that is the victim here , not them-so lets start to focus on the rights of the child.
- Its not that there is no one to blame;rather,its that despite the Laming report there is no provision for a designated person to manage an individual allegation of abuse from beginning to end.
- When I was working at the Johannesburg Hospital children's casualty,the person who identified the abuse was legally required to immediately contact detectives from the Child Protection Unit;the hospital Social Workers (and the hospital Lawyers if needed) to hold a mandatory and immediate case conference.The reporting/diagnosing person was expected to drive the case.
- The radiological consequences of performing a skeletal survey on a baby deemed to be at risk are nothing compared to death-tell the radiographers to suck it up and do as they are asked by those of us who have long experience in children's emergency medicine.
- Try to convince the police that its really time they stopped filling in forms and started getting out into the community and working with nurses and doctors who phone then.
- Lets stop pretending that Management gives any real support to staff who identify and attempt to resolve child abuse issues.By and large they are simply not interested.
- Lets also stop pretending that all health professionals/police officers/social workers want to get involved-most just can't be bothered...its nothing to do with the 'horror',its to do with having to call colleagues to account;to being prepared to make accusations;to being maligned by so-called human Rights lawyers at the Court.
- It's time to establish a national register of people who will be prepared to get involved.This happens informally in practice where I work where I have identified a handful of medical and nursing colleagues who will step up to the issue and take ownership of an abused child.
- Finally lets stop making excuses. Alcoholism and drug use and being unemployed and living in Council accommodation are not excuses for killing your child...even if your lawyer wants to use them as "mitigating" reasons in your defense...defense...what a joke!!
Herewith endeth the lesson.