Thursday, 17 July 2008

‘Learning Lessons’. Just Not Implimenting Them…

Health professionals failed to assess the risk a mentally ill mother posed to her two young children, a report into their deaths has found.

Vivian Gamor, who was schizophrenic, killed her son and daughter in Hackney, east London, in January last year.

Months earlier she was detained under the mental health act after threatening her sister with a knife.
So far, so terribly normal when dealing with ‘health professionals’.
Passing sentence, Judge Peter Rook QC said: "On the face of it, this terrible tragedy could have been avoided if Gamor had not been allowed unsupervised access and the children's father's grave concerns had been given weight."
But where’s the phrase I’m looking for? Ah, there it is:
Alan Wood, director of children's services at Hackney council, said the case highlighted "how unpredictable mental illness can be and the dreadful impact it can have on families".

He said all recommendations of the report had been implemented and lessons had been learned.
So the next time a woman beats her daughters, claims she’s not their real mother and they must have been ‘swapped at birth’, they’ll be right on the case! Mr Ogunkoya isn’t convinced:
But Mr Ogunkoya attacked the report and said: "They're always learning lessons, but children are still dying.

"We should have been aware of the medical state of their mother - we should have been aware of this.

"It doesn't take a genius to work out that that there needs to be some sort of risk assessment done, you can't just throw the children in there and hope for the best.

"My children were living with me, they were taken out of a safe environment and... placed in to an unsafe one.

"If someone's been sectioned for violence - brandishing a knife - I don't see how that person can't pose a risk."
Me neither, Mr Ogunkoya, me neither….

3 comments:

Umbongo said...

The "lesson learned" by Alan Wood (director of children's services at Hackney Council) is that these unfortunate and completely unpredictable consequences of monumental incompetence occur from time to time and all that is required in response is a self-serving statement to the effect that no-one - least of all those actually responsible - is . . er . . responsible. Presumably the genius of a social worker whose case this was will, at worst, be sent on a re-training course and then sent out to do more damage to the innocent.

JuliaM said...

A retraining course...?

Oh, no! That would be singling them out, demeaning them in front of their peers...

Even when you do your best and sack them they have a way of coming back.

Perhaps garlic, and a stake through the heart would be more fitting?

Umbongo said...

" . . demeaning them in front of their peers."

I did say "at worst". But concerning your link and possible demonising of social workers, we mustn't be too hard on Lisa Arthurworrey. She has her problems too, as this story in the Guardian (where else?) tells us. Of course, her fate is not the same as Victoria Climbie's but, hey, Lisa did her best. After all she had received a "community management degree in Luton, followed by a diploma in social work" which, I suppose, is the late 20th century equivalent of a lobotomy. Anyway it ended happily ever after with Lisa back on the social workers register and Victoria in her grave.