Kyle Keen: Toddler death 'could have been avoided'

Kyle Keen died in 2006 from severe head injuries

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The death of a toddler could have been avoided if a West Midlands hospital had referred him to social services at an earlier date, a report has found.

Sixteen-month-old Kyle Keen died at Walsall Manor Hospital in 2006 from a brain bleed after being shaken by his stepfather, Tyrone Matthews.

Matthews was sentenced to six-and-a-half years for manslaughter in 2007.

The hospital has apologised to his natural father and said improvements in referring cases had been made.

Kyle was admitted to the Paediatric ward on 21 June 2006 where unexplained bruises were noted by nurses.

The report said they raised concerns but the matter was never referred to social services.

Robert Keen Kyle's natural father Robert said the youngster's death had had a "big impact"

He was discharged but was readmitted on 29 June with head injuries. His life support machine was turned off a day later.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had been severely shaken.

A independent investigation into Kyle's death was commissioned by the hospital trust in November after his natural father, Robert Keen, raised concerns.

"We have never gotten (sic) over it," said Mr Keen. "It's had a big impact on all of us."

Mr Keen was forced to use Freedom of Information legislation to get answers from the hospital about the treatment his son received after he was contacted by a doctor.

It has also transpired that Mr Keen was not interviewed during at least one Serious Case Review into his son's death.

A full letter of apology has now been sent to Mr Keen, on behalf of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Walsall Council's Children's Services and the Local Safeguarding Children's Board.

Walsall Manor Hospital

Hospital chief executive, Richard Kirby said: "I have apologised unreservedly to Mr Keen for the failure to refer Kyle to children' social care in 2006 and for the fact that the investigations undertaken at the time were not as robust as they should have been and were not shared with him.

"As the report recognises, we have already made significant improvements in the way we work together across the organisations responsible for services for children in Walsall to improve the services we provide."

Chair of the Walsall Safeguarding Children Board, Robert Lake, said: "Since these tragic events, we have improved the way we work, and always keep in mind that there is a child or young person at the heart of everything we do."

In a statement Mr Keen said: "I hope that Manor Hospital will learn the lessons from this latest investigation and that no other Walsall family will lose a child because of such serious mistakes.

"If that does happen I hope the hospital will immediately put its hands up and admit it got it wrong, covering things up for years only makes things worse."

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BBC Local Live

    Video: Fire takes hold 10:23:

    Dramatic footage showing Northfield Manor House on fire last night can be seen here.

    Northfield Manor House

    The flames and smoke could be seen from the Lickey Hills, about three miles (5km) away.

    'Slight' hope for Manor House 10:13: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    In the last few minutes one of the fire crew at Northfield Manor has told me the structural engineers have said there's a "slight" possibility they may be able to save some of the building.

    The other good news is they were able to contain the fire and stopped it spreading to neighbouring buildings.

    Manor fire: Your reaction 10:05: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    You've been getting in touch about the fire which has destroyed Northfield Manor House, the former home of the Cadbury family in Birmingham.

    Judy Stambouly says it was such a shame if the building has to be demolished. "Such a beautiful building and a great part of Birmingham history."

    Jack The Biscuit writes on Twitter that the "beautiful building should never have been left empty".

    News on the hour 09:57: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    Investigations are under way after it's emerged a huge fire which destroyed the historic Northfield Manor in Birmingham was caused by arson.

    One hundred firefighters tackled the blaze last night. Listen Live

    Manor fire: Plans to redevelop 09:48: B31 Voices

    has collated all their posts about Northfield Manor, which was destroyed by fire last night. There had been plans for the site to be redeveloped.

    B31 screen grab
    Cadburys donated house 09:31:

    Local historian Chris Upton has been telling BBC WM about the history of Northfield Manor, which the Cadbury family bought in the 19th Century.

    northfield manor

    "[The property] goes back to the 1700s, though of course it has been rebuilt a number of times. Most of the building that went up last night was Victorian."

    Youths punched girl in face 09:22: Birmingham Mail

    Three young thugs spat at a teenage girl and punched her in the face in an unprovoked attack when she shunned their advances after they followed her off a bus in a busy part of Birmingham.

    Watch: Northfield Manor fire 09:10: Midlands Today

    We've posted some video of last night's fire at Northfield Manor on our Facebook page.

    fire at northfield manor
    Another fire 24 hours before 09:03: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    I've been told there was a smaller fire, which is also being treated as arson, at Northfield Manor 24 hours before the blaze that destroyed the building.

    News on the hour 08:55: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    The former home of the Cadbury family in Birmingham has been destroyed in an arson attack.

    Northfield Manor, an empty four storey property off Bristol Road South in Northfield, was gutted by a fire last night and much of it has now collapsed. Listen live

    Making the building safe 08:42: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    Firefighters say contractors will be on site today and that the priority will be to make the building as structurally safe as possible.

    Top headlines
    Cadbury family 'shocked' 08:28:

    Justin Cadbury, the great-great grandson of the founder of Cadbury's, has told BBC WM he is "deeply shocked" at the news of the fire that has destroyed Northfield Manor.

    Although he never lived in the house - the family sold it the year he was born - he said: "It's memories that make the soul of a house and bring real sadness and I feel very sorry for them."

    Northfield road closure 08:24:

    Manor House Drive in Northfield is closed at the A38 Bristol Road South junction because of the fire at Northfield Manor. Police are directing traffic.

    See BBC Travel News for more information.

    Part of building completely gutted 08:17: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    Northfield Manor was built in 1890 by the Cadbury family. It's now owned by the University of Birmingham but we've learned that because of the extent of the fire damage it will have to be demolished.

    Northfield Manor

    Several firefighters are still working on the roof and the middle of the building has been completely gutted.

    Home to be demolished 08:08: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    I'm in Northfield at the site of the fire at the former Cadbury family home.

    We've just learned that because of the extent of the damage it will have to be demolished.

    Northfield Manor House fire 08:03:

    The former home of the Cadbury family in Birmingham has been destroyed in an arson attack, the fire service says.

    Manor House Cadbury home fire July 30 2014 Birmingham

    At its height up to 100 firefighters were tackling the blaze at Northfield Manor House from about 20:00 on Wednesday.

    Thunder possible 08:02:

    After a bright start, some showery rain, perhaps heavy and thundery, is possible.


    Becoming brighter from the northwest later, with sunny spells and isolated showers. Feeling pleasantly warm in sunnier intervals.

    Good morning 08:00: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

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