Hospital raises child protection levels

CHILD protection has been stepped up at Ipswich Hospital, in a bid to prevent horrific deaths like those suffered by little Lauren Wright and Victoria Climbie, happening in Suffolk.

By Jessica Nicholls

CHILD protection has been stepped up at Ipswich Hospital in a bid to prevent horrific deaths like those suffered by little Lauren Wright and Victoria Climbie, happening in Suffolk.

The deaths of the two little girls from Norfolk and London were subjects of media frenzy after it was revealed that social services had not protected them from the people looking after them.

Now the guidelines at Ipswich Hospital have been reviewed in a bid to try and stop that ever happening here.


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Clare Barlow, director of nursing, told colleagues at the hospital board meeting that relations with health visitors in the community, as well as school nurses, would be increased.

All hospital staff, whether working with children or not, will also be briefed to keep an eye out for possible cases of child abuse.

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Ms Barlow said: "It is important for every member of staff to realise that they have a duty of care. We are not working in isolation as an organisation, and this policy reflects child protection that works across Suffolk.

"It is always a very difficult subject to talk about which has an emotive response but we have to take a very cool look at the way we protect our children."

Staff will be encouraged to follow up patterns of injuries over time or check out unusual marks.

They will look out for children visiting A&E four or more times a year, and attend training sessions to remain up to date on child protection issues.

But Ms Barlow was quick to point out that the new policy did not necessarily mean children would get taken away from their parents.

She said: "If you ask parents or carers to explain where the child came up with these injuries, and if the explanation does not appear to be equivalent to those injuries, your duty is paramount to protect these children, even at the risk of offending parents or carers.

"If there is a child in need of protection the first thing is not to get the child out of that environment. We need to work closely with parents and carers."

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