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Keeping children safe








Keeping children safe

The mother of a two-year-old boy was referred to the local advocacy service by the team leader of the children's ward at a local hospital. The child had been admitted to hospital overnight, and slept in a hospital bed with his mother in another bed alongside. He fell out of bed during the night, suffering an injury to his face and lip and damaging a tooth. The mother felt that she should have been offered cot sides for her son's bed and that the nurses should not have assumed the child was safe without these. The mother was also upset at the attitude of the nurse following the incident and unhappy at the way the child's father was treated when he arrived at the hospital after hours.

The team leader met with the family following the incident to apologise and had thought the matter resolved. She later heard that the family was still unhappy and referred them to an advocate.

The advocate suggested the mother write to the provider outlining her issues in detail as well as her desired outcomes, and consider a face-to-face meeting. The manager of the service sought advice from the advocate about how to respond to the complaint. The advocate suggested that she offer to meet with the complainant and her family to try to resolve the issues.

Subsequently, the manager advised the advocate she had met with the family and the issues were resolved. A follow-up letter to the family was sent apologising for the incident and providing information about a new policy that had been implemented to ensure that all children under the age of three years have beds with fitted rails.

The mother advised she was happy with the outcomes achieved.

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