‘Missed chance’ to save toddler

Oxford County Hall

Oxford County Hall

A report into the death of a 22-month-old boy in the Banbury area has claimed authorities ‘missed an opportunity’ to potentially save his life.

A recently published Serious Case Review into the death of ‘Child Y’ – carried out by the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board – highlighted poor information sharing between social workers, police and doctors.

The youngster died in Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital in 2010 after being admitted with head injuries and abdominal bruising.

Explanations given to doctors and police from the parents were inconsistent with the injuries caused and both parents were arrested.

In May this year the father was jailed for 15 months for neglect.

The report noted an anonymous referral five months before the boy’s death which said he had been seen with developmental delay and possible bruising.

It said: “It appears the senior practitioner decided that the allegation did not require further social care assessment but there is no explanation of how he arrived at this conclusion. The Children’s Social Care service reported that at the time there were staffing issues within the department, which may have contributed towards this missed opportunity.”

In a statement, Oxfordshire County Council said: “This was a tragic set of circumstances and we are truly sorry that the child died.

“Clear processes are now agreed with the health sector when they are providing support to adults with mental health needs who are also parents.

“The council did not wait for the Serious Case Review to report before acting internally to make the required improvements.

“Appropriate disciplinary action has been taken against a member of staff, who was suspended, given a final written warning, taken off child protection social care work and given a period of intensive re-training.”




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