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‘Failures’ at nursery over child protection

By Lesley-Anne Henry

A health Trust report into a Belfast nursery at the centre of a police investigation has found that staff were not fully aware of child protection issues.

The PSNI’s child protection unit were called in to probe allegations of physical abuse on children at the Knightsbridge Day Care nursery in the Stranmillis area of south Belfast. A female member of staff was suspended last September after a colleague made complaints. Last night a spokeswoman for the police confirmed that a file has since been sent to the Public Prosecution Service.

In its 46-page annual inspection report, the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust found that child protection concerns were not dealt with effectively at the nursery and there was not a designated member of staff for child protection liaison. It was also noted that while the 24 staff and two managers had been vetted, not all visitors were identified.

The Belfast Telegraph has obtained a copy of the document which was published this week.

One concerned parent, who declined to be named, branded the social services’ inspection as “too little, too late”.

“As the parent of a child in Knightsbridge Daycare, I am pleased to see Social Services increasing their oversight in relation to the nursery. Yet I remain concerned this report is merely a standard inspection report which took place well after the allegations of child abuse came to light and this is regrettable,” he said.

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