I read the news this morning, and I really couldn’t believe what I was reading.
The Scottish Daily Express reported that a community nurse was suspended for taking a boy aged between 3 and 5 and keeping him safe.
She had spotted him jumping in and out of a car but with no adult around. She had an appointment, so left a note on the car to say where they were and went round the corner, taking him with her. A few minutes later, the boys dad showed up to pick him up. He was grateful to her for looking after his boy, as he had been away from his car longer than he anticipated.
Now apart from the dad being one massive idiot, it’s not an uncommon thing for parents to leave their little kids in cars to pop to shops. It might be silly, or reckless, or any number of things, but parents still keep on doing it. This boy had got himself out of the car and was jumping around near a busy road.
According to the report the nurse had “displayed serious failings in child protection.”
The article says that she stayed with the boy for a while, but being late for an appointment round the corner, she felt she had to go. Rather than abandoning the wee boy, she took him with her for a couple of minutes.
It also said that she told her bosses what had happened, and then the police were involved and she was signed off work and not allowed back. She was handed a 6 month ban and will have conditions imposed when she gets back to work for 18 months, until “she is deemed to no longer be a risk to the public.”
Yes, I know there are societal rules to follow when we deal with the public, and no, perhaps she shouldn’t have taken the wee boy to her next appointment and should have phoned employer and police instead, but her sense of justice in not being late for a client is the same sense of decency that she displayed by not wanting to leave the boy alone, or have her client think she hadn’t turned up.
I also know that there are ways that the medical profession are probably told to deal with protection issues, but for heaven’s sake, in an emergency, surely there should be a little leeway and sense to allow a good Samaritan for taking care of a wee one that could have put himself in danger.
It was a bit silly to take the boy away from the car, and yes, she should have called the police, but in the heat of the moment, sometimes we just have to trust in other people. Common sense has to prevail somewhere in this. I can’t see how any of it makes her a potential risk to the public. Possibly a disciplinary matter for removing from scene and taking to a client, but danger to the public is a bit strong.
No wonder so many people just walk on by and leave ill people or lost kids to their fates.