Monday, December 13, 2004
Children's Commissioner launches investigation into the safety of children in hospital
The Office of the Children's Commissioner is launching an investigation into the safety of children who have been
hospitalised with injuries and where there have been allegations of abuse.
Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro says the investigation follows two recent incidents where hospitalised children
are alleged to have been assaulted by family members.
Dr Kiro says the investigation will determine what protocols are in place between District Health Boards, CYF and Police
to ensure hospitalised children are safe following allegations of abuse.
Dr Kiro says it is important to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each organisation in relation to the safety
and well being of the child at this time.
"We need to clarify which organisation has legal responsibility for a hospitalised child's safety when there are
allegations of abuse."
The review will include an analysis of current protocols in place in each DHB, a review of overseas procedures to
protect children in hospital and an analysis of best practice models (national and international). Guidelines, which use
examples of best practice, will be identified, so DHBs can implement protocols in their hospitals.
In addition the investigation will review the two recent cases to determine what took place, the effectiveness of
protocols between CYF, the DHBs and Police at that time, and any changes that have been implemented since the incidents.
Dr Kiro says a report on the findings of the investigation will be provided to CYF, DHBs and Police. The report is due
for completion in May 2005.