Somerset

Baby leg break parents 'treated like monsters'

A baby Image copyright PA
Image caption The 10-week-old baby girl had accidentally suffered a broken leg

A mother and father wrongly suspected of injuring their baby have accused social services of "treating us like monsters".

The couple from West Somerset saw their 10-week-old daughter taken into care after doctors discovered her leg was broken.

They are angry that experts took four months to conclude the injury was accidental.

Calls have now been made to reduce the time to undertake medical reviews.

The parents, who have not been named to protect the identity of their child, took their daughter to a GP in January and an X-ray was taken of her left leg.

"It came back saying she had a fracture and a nurse told us 'you're going to have a horrible two days, you're going to be interrogated by social services, by the hospital, maybe by the police'," the mother said.

After four days in hospital, the parents were told their child would be taken into care.

Image copyright Andy Dangerfield
Image caption The parents say authorities have now "gone to the other extreme" after the failings identified in the Baby P case

Reports from a paediatrician and a radiologist were ordered in February, but the family were forced to wait until May for the results which accepted the injury could have been accidental.

Their child was then returned to them.

Anthony Douglas, chief executive of Cafcass which represents the interests of children in family court proceedings, said expert reviews should be "done in a matter of weeks not months".

"It is important that in disputed medical cases this is done speedily to avoid miscarriages of justice for parents and delay to children who are stranded," he said.

The mother said: "From the beginning I feel like we were treated like monsters, bad parents who were guilty all along.

"They [social services and doctors] missed things in the case of Baby P, but it's gone to another extreme."

Somerset County Council said the system "does not always operate as quickly as anyone would want".

"This can be very frustrating for families but the system's primary concern will always be for the safety of the child."

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites