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Nurse Suspended for Protecting Boy in Aberdeen

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.


10 thoughts on “Nurse Suspended for Protecting Boy in Aberdeen

  1. When I heard this on the radio I was a ghast! One wonders what the police said to the parent leaving the child unattended.

    1. I’d like to know that too. Doubt we’ll ever know.

  2. This to me illustrates how hard it is to rely on your own instinct these days. Invariably it comes clashing with some rule that tells us how to behave in a particular situation. I realise that we have to abide by rules but sometimes there are situations where we have to rely on our instinct. I think some allowance should have been made for this but clearly not. I can’t see how she is such a massive risk to the public and to ban her like this seems over the top in my opinion. Just typical of the society we live in; no wonder people don’t want to help others any more. They’re too frightened of getting it wrong.

    1. In emergencies, we have no choice but to trust some people sometimes. Employers should have the sense to realise that there are times when it’s necessary to just take control of a situation with instinct. I feel sorry for the nurse involved.

  3. And one possible outcome is that healthcare professionals and members of the public will note this event, and, in the future, shy away from protecting a child in danger! Progress?

    1. I’d agree that many people would just not bother after the potential like this.

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