When the Lampard ‘Lessons Learned’ report and the report into the Savile’s abuse at Stoke Mandeville are released shortly – the Minister will likely claim ‘everything is different now.’ It’s not and here’s why.
- There is still no statutory requirement to report concerns or witnessed abuse of a child. No statutory change has occurred since Savile’s reign of abuse at the Trust or the other institutional settings in which he abused.
- ‘Discretionary Reporting’ of abuse doesn’t work. The consequences of this failure is a key reason for there being Inquiries into institutional abuse in England, Wales, Scotland, N.Ireland, Jersey, and St Helena. A consultation on mandatory reporting in England is awaited.
The current safeguarding policy at Stoke Mandeville is inadequate because:
- The policy briefly mentions various safeguarding activities which “should” be carried out, but in most cases does not specify who should do them or describe a detailed procedure to be followed by specific members of staff. Many other institutions which have had serious safeguarding failures have subsequently been found to have similarly vague safeguarding arrangements.
- The Trust fails to commit refer all allegations to the Local Authority for independent assessment, and neither does it support staff who do report concerns who, in the absence of legislation, are defined as whistleblowers.
In the following two links MandateNow has unpicked key clauses on ‘referrals’ and put the inadequacies of the policy in tabular format
Review of Sect 16 : SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HEALTHCARE STAFF
The Stoke Mandeville Policy is here.
In both sections, it is clear that the reporting arrangements are extremely vague, they frequently use “should” rather than “must,” and in some cases it is not even made clear who “should” be carrying out an action. In addition, large parts of both sections describe actions that should be taken by people outside the Bucks NHS Trust, such as the police and Childrens Services over whom the trust has no control. In essence, considerable time is spent defining the procedures of other agencies.
This leaves those who do report abuse, especially alleged abuse perpetrated by a colleague, in a very vulnerable position. Dr Drew, the former head of the paediatric department at Walsall Manor Hospital blew the whistle on a colleague’s competency. The colleague had released a baby from the hospital in June 2006 without contacting social services, despite the child’s injuries being considered suspicious. The child, 16 month old Kyle Keen, died a week later at the hands of his stepfather Tyrone Matthews. David Drew was sacked.
The genesis of the current Stoke Mandeville Child Protection Policy
This ‘updated’ policy was assembled following an audit conducted by Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust in conjunction with the Bucks Safeguarding Children Board. The CEO of the Trust then issued this press release in early November 2013 :
Which was reported upon in Bucks Free Press on 6th November 2013.
Just a few months later this article appeared in the Bucks Free Press. The Ofsted report judged Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children’s Board to be “inadequate” overall – the lowest rating possible.
Tom Perry is available for interview – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
Tom wrote to Kate Lampard, the author of the DoH reports on Savile, on 21.01.13 drawing her attention to some of the shortcomings in the policy at the time. An acknowledgement was received but no engagement.
MandateNow proposals for Mandatory Reporting 5 minute guide to Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities
The amendment to S.43 of the Serious Crimes Bill to which MandateNow contributed.
Tom, the founder of MandateNow, was the first complainant in the Caldicott School child abuse scandal. He is also the founding contributor of the 2008 BAFTA award winning documentary Chosen about the dynamics of institutional abuse and its long-term consequences. It also revealed the non-existence of law to protect children and staff in RA’s. Lobbying for change to the inadequate statutory framework started in 2006. Current law and ‘statutory guidance’ continue to fail children and staff in all Regulated Activities. Mandatory Reporting is a critically important component to create a functioning child protection system in these activities and settings.
MandateNow is supported by:
Regulated Activities that support the introduction of mandatory reporting include:
Church of England and the Catholic Church in England which both declared support for Mandatory Reporting in the Panorama broadcast 04.10.13. The C of E, via the Lord Bishop of Durham Paul Butler, supported the S.43 amendment in the Serious Crimes Bill for the introduction of Mandatory Reporting moved by Baroness Walmsley. A consultation on MR is awaited.
MP’s + Members of the Lords:
Supporters of Mandatory Reporting include: Cheryl Gillan MP, Tom Watson MP, Tessa Munt MP, Sarah Champion MP, Barry Gardiner MP, Lucy Powell MP, Simon Danczuk MP, Baroness Walmsley, Baroness Hollins, Baroness Finlay, Lord Bishop of Durham Paul Butler.