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Judge highlights concerns in Worthing Hospitals care of baby

The Family Law Team represented a Mother falsely accused of the non-accidental injury of her 4 month old baby boy in the reported case of Re L (Withdrawal : Head Injuries – Unknown Cause) (Rev 1) [2015] EWFC 67 (06 July 2015).  Worthing NHS Trust were criticised by HHJ Jakens after they reported to social services that the baby had been shaken without undertaking adequate medical investigations – this led not only to baby L being placed in foster carer for over 8 months but the Mother and Father were also arrested and placed on conditional bail throughout this time.   This case highlights the need for parents to seek urgent specialist legal representation. The Family Law Team worked tirelessly  – not only did they instruct eminent independent medical experts but also instructed Paul Storey QC, an incredible advocate with significant experience in the most serious cases.  The Family Law Team spent many hours with the Mother going through the evidence with a fine tooth-comb to prepare the most detailed statement which Paul Storey QC described as ‘a masterpiece’.   The Family Law Team says ‘This case is yet another example of a child removed from their parents where a hospital makes a hasty diagnosis of baby-shaking.  This mother, after having a much loved and longed-for baby, spent over 8 months having limited supervised contact whilst missing out on important ‘firsts’ such as rolling, crawling, cutting a tooth and walking,  I am absolutely delighted we were able to get baby L returned to his Mum.  What is sad, however, is the parent’s relationship suffered as a result of the stress of the process.  I only hope that hospital trusts read and take on board the comments of Her Honour Judge Jakens when dealing with such cases in the future’.  Within the Judgment the Court concluded  ‘L’s case demanded more thorough investigation than he received……….due to the identified concerns in relation to the care offered to L at Worthing Hospital, the matter will be referred to the Safeguarding Board and probably to the serious case review group………. Worthing Hospital’s leadership team are on notice about the concerns.’ See news articles ITV news and Portsmouth News

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