Watch­dog is in­ves­ti­gat­ing health work­ers af­ter death of tragic teenager

Rochdale Observer - - NEWS - Da­mon.wilkin­ @Da­monWilkin­son6

PRO­FES­SIONAL stan­dards bod­ies are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the con­duct of three so­cial and men­tal health work­ers fol­low­ing the death of a trou­bled teenager.

It comes af­ter a damn­ing se­ri­ous case review pub­lished ear­lier this month found ‘more could and should have been done’ to help Char­lotte Baron.

The 14-year-old, who was iden­ti­fied as be­ing at ‘high risk’ of self­harm, was found hanged in her bed­room at her home in Falinge, Rochdale, in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Now reg­u­la­tory body the Health and Care Pro­fes­sions Coun­cil, which over­sees so­cial work­ers, has con­firmed it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case. It’s un­der­stood two so­cial ser­vices staff in­volved in the case have been re­ported to the HCPC. Both no longer work for Rochdale coun­cil.

A spokes­woman for the HCPC said: “The ●●Coun Donna Martin, coun­cil cabi­net mem­ber for chil­dren and young peo­ple, said she would con­tinue to en­sure the review re­port is im­ple­mented HCPC is aware of the in­quest in re­la­tion to the death of Char­lotte Baron.

“We are cur­rently mak­ing en­quiries as to whether there are any fit­ness to prac­tise con­cerns in re­la­tion to HCPC reg­is­trants that need to be in­ves­ti­gated.”

A spokes­woman for the Pen­nine Care NHS Trust said a mem­ber of the Child and Ado­les­cent Men­tal Health Ser­vice has also been re­ferred to the Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Coun­cil in con­nec­tion with Char­lotte’s death.

It’s un­der­stood the staff mem­ber has since re­signed from her role at the trust.

Char­lotte, who was known to so­cial ser­vices and was be­ing seen by a men­tal health worker, had a his­tory of self­harm­ing.

The St Cuthbert’s High School pupil, the child of an al­co­holic mother and a vi­o­lent fa­ther, suf­fered a chaotic and trou­bled up­bring­ing and had tried to take her own life on two pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions.

But, as the Ob­server re­ported, the SCR found her main so­cial worker had just one year’s ex­pe­ri­ence and needed ‘con­sis­tent man­age­ment sup­port’.

De­spite this, and a re­al­i­sa­tion that Char­lotte’s mum Veron­ica Kil­bride was a ‘very dif­fi­cult client to work with’, the review found ‘man­age­ment over­sight of this case was poor’.

One so­cial worker’s de­scrip­tion of Char­lotte’s death as a ‘shock’ was also de­scribed as ‘out of step with the re­al­ity’ and there was also a ‘gross naivety’ in a be­lief among so­cial ser­vices that Char­lotte’s mum would tackle her drink­ing prob­lem. The sup­port from Pen­nine Care NHS Trust’s Child and Ado­les­cent and Men­tal Health Ser­vice was also crit­i­cised by the review.

No one from CAMHS at­tended any of the multi-agency ‘Child in Need’ meet­ings which were held to dis­cuss Char­lotte and her fam­ily’s case.

Her men­tal health worker, said to be an ‘ex­pe­ri­enced prac­ti­tioner’, was also crit­i­cised for not mak­ing a ‘ro­bust chal­lenge’ to so­cial ser­vices when she felt Char­lotte’s needs were not be­ing met.

Stan­dards of record­keep­ing in CAMHS were also found to be fallen ‘much short of agency stan­dards’.

Coun Donna Martin, Rochdale coun­cil’s cabi- net mem­ber for chil­dren and young peo­ple, said: “Al­though the ac­tions of agen­cies like the coun­cil and NHS did not cause or con­trib­ute to the tragic death of Char­lotte Baron, each in­ci­dent of this kind must be used to ask our­selves if we could or should have done more.

“I know that is al­ready be­ing done and I will con­tinue to en­sure that the rec­om­men­da­tions made in the se­ri­ous case review re­port are im­ple­mented.”

●●A damn­ing re­port into the death of Char­lotte Baron found ‘more could and should have been done’ to help her

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