Staff suspended in baby-restraint case

Five health workers have been suspended from a North Lincolnshire children's ward following an allegation that a baby was restrained.

The employees, four nurses and one healthcare-support worker, worked in the Disney Ward of Scunthorpe General Hospital.

Police have been called in to investigate and the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has started its own inquiry. The circumstances under which a baby may have been restrained remained unclear last night but the level of force and the medical necessity are factors that are likely to be taken into account in any investigation.

Neither the health trust nor the police were willing yesterday to explain publicly what was alleged to have happened but Wendy Booth, the trust's head of governance, was reported to have said: "We can confirm an incident has occurred which the trust is investigating." She added: "We are keeping the family fully informed. It would not therefore be appropriate to comment further at this stage."

A spokeswoman for Humberside Police said there had been "an incident at Scunthorpe General Hospital". She added: "This is currently in the very early stages and police are working closely with the NHS trust to fully establish the circumstances of the case."

Children from just a few days old up to the age of 16 are cared for at the hospital's Disney Ward, where a variety of conditions are treated.

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