Actions taken by a paediatrician that resulted in him being banned
from child protection work for three years serve as a reminder of
the importance of evidence-based practice, the president of the
Association of Directors of Social Services has said.
Andrew Cozens is urging child protection social workers not to be
demoralised by the case, in which David Southall contacted police
with concerns that the husband of Sally Clark had murdered their
babies after watching a television documentary on the case.
Cozens said: “Feedback from judges is that social workers tend to
have good evidence but they do not tend to assert themselves in
court in the way doctors do.”
Southall was found guilty of professional misconduct at a General
Medical Council hearing in Manchester last week. He faces seven
other complaints against him. (news, page 6, 10 June).
He later wrote a report for solicitors on the case without speaking
to the family or seeing case papers.
Sally Clark was cleared of murder in December 2003.