Death of baby 'could have been prevented'

Death of baby 'could have been prevented'

Reporter:

Philip Dewey

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Death of baby 'could have been prevented'

 

Emma Wilson
The murder of a baby boy by his mother who attended a Maidenhead children's centre could have been prevented if health professionals had intervened, a review has revealed.

 

Emma Wilson, 25, of Paddock Close, Windsor, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 14 years, at the Old Bailey in January.

Her 11-month-old son Callum died at John Radcliffe Hospital in March 2011 as a result of  a serious head injury.

A serious case review was conducted by Windsor and Maidenhead Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) between April and November 2011 into services and agencies who came into contact with the family.

The findings of the review were published today.

The report stated that 'missed opportunities' by health professionals in the two weeks leading up to baby Callum's death could have prevented his death, and potential risks over the long term were 'underestimated'.

It stated: "In the two weeks before Callum's death, professionals missed opportunities to intervene which, if they had been taken, are very likely have led to the detection of serious injuries and are very likely to have prevented his death."

Callum lived with foster carers for the first seven months of his life after Wilson put him up for adoption after keeping the pregnancy a secret from her family and friends.

But he was placed back in Wilson's care by the Royal Borough after deciding she wanted to look after him.

The review report said Callum should have been 'closely monitored' due to the 'complexity of the background' but the Royal Borough closed the case after two visits.

It was revealed that the social worker primarily responsible for Callum's care was 'newly qualified and inexperienced' and was given the case because it was believed to be a 'straightforward piece of work.'

Concerns were also raised about the lack of reporting of Callum's bruises and scratches.

A GP, staff at a children's centre in Maidenhead, where Wilson and Callum attended, and a health visitor in a child health clinic who saw Callum the day before he was admitted to hospital, all failed to refer them to the Royal Borough.

The trial was told Callum attended Woodlands Park Children’s Centre.

Wilson had blamed Callum’s injuries on his older brother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and also on an older sister who did not exist.

The report said: "These presentations were highly suspicious. The professionals involved should have responded differently and the bruises should have been reported to the local authority so that child protection enquiries could be undertaken."

A number of recommendations were made by the report, stating there were 'important lessons' relating to the training, skills and knowledge of individuals and teams of staff involved, the wider organisational arrangements existing within agencies, and working arrangements between agencies and the sharing of information.

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