unexplained injury in immobile infant

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unexplained injury in immobile infant

Post by dystopian » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:35 pm

We are in the midst of a nightmare as our one year old has been removed from us (his parents) after we took him to ***** Hospital . We did this because we sensed he was in pain when his left foot was touched. There were contradictory diagnoses from the hospital as to what had happened: a buckle break (common in soft bones of babies) and a Salter Harris break which can only be caused by force. This was in July. The social workers, while acknowledging the evidence from the hospital was suspicious and despite us being almost certain he had damaged his foot after wrapping it around a bar in his cot - removed him from our care - this was without even allowing us to get a second opinion. We are now stuck in the midst of court proceedings which won't be resolved until December. In the meantime he is with a kinship carer and we have restricted access.
I am keen to explore this issue. How can this be allowed to happen? How can a child be removed from his mummy and daddy on the basis of an opinion from only one clinical institution? More specifically, I am keen to find out if there is a pattern of over-referral into social services at ***** Hospital. Would really appreciate hearing of any other similar experiences.

*****amended by Suzie for reasons of confidentiality. Please see our rules.

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Re: unexplained injury in immobile infant

Post by swim » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:56 am

Really sorry about the situation you're in - I can't even imagine the hurt you must be feeling.

In respect to getting information you can put a freedom of information request in through whatdotheyknow(.com). It may be useful to also ask how many referrals are based on cases with conflicting diagnosis's. Personally I'd ask whether their policy is to continue testing if results are conflicting and in how many cases (say in the last month / quarter) this happened before a referral to SS

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: unexplained injury in immobile infant

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:54 pm

Dear dystopian

Welcome to the parents’ discussion forum and thanks for posting.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

Your one year old son has been found to have a break in his leg either a buckle break or Salter Harris break. It appears from what you say that the hospital has not made a definitive decision about the break. I assume that this is being treated as a non-accidental injury and, as a result, children’s services has decided to apply to the court for a care order.

As you are now is care proceedings, it will be for your legal team to ensure that alternative medical evidence is requested in respect of the injury your son has suffered. Your solicitor can ask for an independent expert to look at your son’s x-rays to provide an opinion in respect of the injury. Hospitals do make referrals to children’s services as they have a safeguarding role where a child has suffered harm. I do not know if the suggestion/explanation you have offered for the possible break to your son’s leg is accepted as possible.

During the court proceedings, the court may have a fact finding hearing to identify who may have caused the injury. Normally, parents and other persons who have had care of the child would be placed in what is called the ‘pool of perpetrators’. It will be for the judge to decide make findings of fact in respect of the injury your son suffered and by whom or if no one is identified then everyone is likely to remain in the pool.

It might be helpful to read our advice sheet Care (and related) proceedings

In the title of your post you refer to ‘unexplained injury in an immobile child’ in a situation like this it is really important to find how an injury occurred.

Children’s services will more often than not, remove a child who has suffered significant harm and they consider a risk of future harm is possible at least until there has been an investigation into what led to the child being harmed.

If you believe the level of contact you are having is not enough, this is something you can ask your solicitor to raise with children’s services. You might find it helpful to read our advice sheet Contact with children in care

You may also find it helpful to speak to this organisation Parents Accused on 01626 332 266 or look at their website.

In your post you also wish to obtain information from the hospital regarding their referrals to children’s services and you have already had advice from swim regarding this.

Should you wish to speak to adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0800 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes


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Re: unexplained injury in immobile infant

Post by dystopian » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:22 am

Thank you Suzie. Your reply was helfpul and summarised exactly what has happened. Yes, we have one specialist report back from a radiologist and awaiting one from a paediatrician. The radiologist says evidence from x-rays is inconclusive to determine whether Salter Harris or buckle break. He did say though that the possible hypothesis we offered - twisting foot on cot was improbable . He said the injury had been caused by twisting or bending. There is a condition called arthrogryposis in our family which affects joints and muscles. We also think ***** might have hypermobility - but we cannnot get to see a specialist at ******* until March to confirm this diagnosis. I thought the Radio 4 programme, 'From Cradle to Grave' was excellent and shows how the system is flawed . Thanks again.
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: moderated to protect confidentiality

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