Bristol Primary Care Trust Criticised in Death of Girl

06.09.2007

A report into the death of a 10-year-old girl has criticised the care she received from council and healthcare professionals. The girl died of coronary arrest in 2006 after falling into a scalding bath at her home in Bristol. Years of neglect at her home and a catalogue of failures by authorities were identified in the report.

The report by the Bristol Safeguard Children Board found that there had been incidents of domestic violence, mental health issues with the parents and that the young girl had suffered numerous accidental injuries, incidents of domestic violence, behaviour problems and metal health issues affecting the parents.

In its executive summary, the report concluded: "There were missed opportunities for professionals to intervene in the early years, which could have focused upon parenting support." It also stated that Incidents were treated "in isolation" from each other, which led to an underestimation of the amount of neglect being suffered.
Concern were raised over why the level of neglect was not recognised and acted upon.

The report found variable quality of health service record-keeping; lack of systematic follow-up to missed health appointments; significant information not always being shared successfully between agencies; assessments made by other agencies not being used to inform social care planning; and school records not being kept together so confidential information about child protection issues was not kept with academic records among other issues to be relevant.