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AIBU to be furious that all the finger pointing in the Daniel Pelka case...

(197 Posts)
PeriodFeatures Thu 01-Aug-13 18:43:43

Is being aimed towards the Head of Children Services and there is no mention of the Doctor that misdiagnosed this little boy with an eating disorder ? I mean FFS what kind of eating disorder leads a child to picking up food off a floor and scavenging in bins...

tiggerpigger Thu 01-Aug-13 18:46:18

I blame the parents personally

Sirzy Thu 01-Aug-13 18:46:46

There was fault on many levels the main one seemingly being the lack of joined up thinking and putting all the information together and that is in a large part down to children's services to do.

Doesn't mean there wasn't fault by others - although dont forget we don't know what the GP (and others) were told by the parents.

Bowlersarm Thu 01-Aug-13 18:47:11

I agree with tigger

sweetestcup Thu 01-Aug-13 18:55:10

tigger why do you blame his Dad? It was his Mothers boyfriend who has been convicted.

Iamsparklyknickers Thu 01-Aug-13 18:57:54

Did a dr actually diagnose an eating disorder? I've only listened to the news reports and a couple of radio phone ins but I got the impression that's what the mother told the teachers when she was questioned about his behavior.

It's all just incredibly sad and utterly heartbreaking. Imo I think a lot of the processes within public bodies for safeguarding create a false sense of security with the people using them. Lots of instances and concerns were logged by the teachers working with Daniel and they trusted that following their procedure would alert the right people to investigate and protect him. Clearly that failed really badly and I would like to see more support for teachers/head teachers to directly contact the police or health services if they don't feel their contacts in the LA are moving quickly enough/are showing enough concern.

Unfortunately you will still get evil bastards covering their tracks, lying, moving and being generally obstructive so it will happen again. You can't legislate against evil.

Fluffyemenent Thu 01-Aug-13 18:57:58

The point was he was never diagnosed with an eating disorder his mum made that up to tell the school!

meditrina Thu 01-Aug-13 19:00:04

I haven't been following all the detail of this horrible case, an was under the impression that there had been no GP diagnosis of eating disorder, and it was just a lie told to the school to cover up starvation. Was the poor boy actually taken to GP from time to time after all?

Itsjustafleshwound Thu 01-Aug-13 19:00:51

I think it just shows how toothless the services are wrt abusive, lying parents.

With a language barrier (perhaps of their own making) and aggressive people trying to cover their guilt, no one could or would get involved.

Anecdotally, we perhaps had an abusive parent on our terrace and, although notorious and loud, everyone had an idea what was going on and yet no-one got involved.

Selks Thu 01-Aug-13 19:00:52

Hopefully the serious case review will reveal what went wrong in protecting this poor little boy, but if there was a misdiagnosis then I can see how it could have affected the response of other services. But one thing seems clear, there were too many people taking what the parents were saying at face value and letting that sway how they responded to the blatant signs of abuse in front of them.

edlyu Thu 01-Aug-13 19:01:21

Unfortunately you will still get evil bastards covering their tracks, lying, moving and being generally obstructive so it will happen again. You can't legislate against evil.


Itsjustafleshwound Thu 01-Aug-13 19:03:32

It is unfair to lay the blame at only one door, but unfortunately, the buck has to stop somewhere and people have to be seeing to be doing something

Thisisaeuphemism Thu 01-Aug-13 19:06:06

Well, the mum and stepdad did it. That's where the blame lies.

It is important to learn how they got away with it and it is important to find ways to stop it happening again. It looks like the system being so disjointed means they could lie to everyone without it being picked up.

PeriodFeatures Thu 01-Aug-13 19:12:12

although dont forget we don't know what the GP (and others) were told by the parents

I know, it's just worrying that the GP who saw this child didn't recognise the abuse and was taken in by the parents and happy to consider that he had an eating disorder. From what i can gather he was under the care of the paediatrician.... (unless i have perhaps got the facts wrong. I have only seen the news and the independent report)

Sirzy Thu 01-Aug-13 19:14:33

But at what stage was he seen and for what? DS sees a pediarician but he only sees him fully clothed and has to take what I say as being true.

As it is lots of people did report concerns but something went wrong meaning the pieces of the jigsaw weren't joined together

BridgetBidet Thu 01-Aug-13 19:16:44

He WAS in the preliminary stages of a diagnosis for an eating disorder. By Dr Supratik Chakraborti. He believed he had a metabolic disorder, which caused him to metabolize food really fast but not take in nutrients so he was still really thin.

The serious case review will show whether or not he was at fault, we can't know.

But as a doctor if a parent presents to you with a child and gives you a plausible account of what sounds like a genuine illness and what you can see as a doctor backs this up what do you do? He said the child showed no other signs of abuse.

The fact that his mother even had the brass neck to show up at a hospital and give her account of the illness is extremely unusual. She appeared to be cooperating and concerned about the child.

It would have been very hard for the school or other professionals involved to react as she would have had the back up of the medical profession that his thinness was not a result of abuse.

I think it's extremely likely nobody will be found at fault here when it's looked at objectively. This was a set of extremely devious and plausible people, who probably with design and also a bit of luck managed to create a completely plausible account of this supposed illness.

Iamsparklyknickers Thu 01-Aug-13 19:17:25

I wonder how difficult it would be to introduce an emergency court order that any public body could request and then have a magistrate pull together school, social services and medical records to decide whether there is a concerning pattern amongst all the recorded evidence to issue social services with the power to gain access to a child as a first step rather than a last?

A woman from one of the child protection charities was saying on the radio that one of the big hurdles is that in the initial stages you need a parents co-operation (teachers couldn't have contacted Daniels GP without his mothers permission because of data protection). If they refuse access or become obstructive then the lengthy hard legal process starts and you've alerted an abuser you're on to them and they 'disappear' off the radar and the whole nasty business starts again under a different authorities jurisdiction.

JambalayaCodfishPie Thu 01-Aug-13 19:21:12

His mother and stepfather killed him. Nobody else was responsible for his death. He was MURDERED by them.

Itsjustafleshwound Thu 01-Aug-13 19:22:21

The step father was aggressive and abusive
The mother was abusive, manipulative and had every reason to try and hide her actions
The GP had a full waiting room and bruising was covered up
Language barrier
Lunch ladies and the office deal with all school dinner requests ....

What chances for a full picture?

Iamsparklyknickers Thu 01-Aug-13 19:23:08

Ah thanks Bridgetbidet - I didn't know about Daniel being under a consultant.

The first thought that occurs to me? I know the NHS paying out for interpreters isn't popular, but it really is best practice to allow the patients to talk freely without a family member interpreting. If that's something that could have been avoided then it's just such a simple little thing.

I know as a rule parents speak on behalf of their children, but maybe if the Dr had been able to question him even just once via an independent person he may have picked up on the clues and why his suspected diagnosis was soooo wrong.

olidusUrsus Thu 01-Aug-13 19:23:47

Exactly Jambalaya. Hindsight is a funny thing.

BridgetBidet Thu 01-Aug-13 19:24:06

Iamsparklyknickers, I am fairly certain that already exists. But in this case it would have made no difference at all as had any action been taken the mother would have had medical professionals who would have taken the view that his thinness was because of an illness, not because of abuse.

meditrina Thu 01-Aug-13 19:29:01

I've done some searching.

The mother testified that she never took him to the doctor.

There is no blame for a misdiagnosis, because no doctor saw him.

BridgetBidet Thu 01-Aug-13 19:31:30

Iamsparklyknickers, it may well be a good idea for children always to have an interpreter available. But again in this case it might not have worked, the mother bribed him with promises of food to say what she wanted to professionals so had the doctor had an interpreter there he may well have given the right answers or even remained silent, it's not that unusual for a 4 year old to go quiet, I'm not sure even and interpreter could have done any good.

If she could con a consultant, all the teachers, the health professionals and her own family she could have conned an interpreter too. The fact it this is a case of exceptionally devious people who were intelligent enough to cover their tracks and hide what was happening exceptionally well.

This isn't like the Baby P case where simply examining the child properly would have shown what a dreadful state he was in, where the parents deceptions were obvious and could have been solved with a simple checking up exercise.

This was a case where the people who should have been looking after Daniel were conned by a huge, plausible, elaborate and devious deception.

BridgetBidet Thu 01-Aug-13 19:32:53

Meditrina, she never took him to the GP. She took him to see the hospital consultant. And he did see the GP at one point who prescribed nutritional tablets so to say he never saw his GP is not correct either.

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