Wales politics

Scurvy death of Dylan Seabridge review call by AM

Scurvy reconstruction

An independent review should be held into the death of an eight-year-old boy from scurvy, an AM has said.

Angela Burns said a BBC Wales investigation found concerns were raised a year before Dylan Seabridge, from Pembrokeshire, died in 2011.

Charges of neglect against his parents were dropped in 2014.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said any conclusion would be premature before the local safeguarding board's child practice review had been published.

The inquest into the death of Dylan, from Dolau in Eglwyswrw, heard that scurvy was an easily preventable and treatable disease.

Image copyright Wales News Service

The inquest heard his parents Glynn and Julie Seabridge had told police they did not believe he had scurvy and thought he was suffering from growing pains.

They had been charged with neglect but the Crown Prosecution Service dropped those charges in 2014.

An unpublished draft serious case review, written in 2013 and leaked to BBC Wales, said Dylan was educated at home and "invisible" to the authorities, though his parents dispute that.

Pembrokeshire County Council has said a child practice review into the case will be published soon.

Ms Burns, the Conservative AM for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, told the Senedd on Tuesday: "For four years that little boy's name and his situation has not been in the eye of those who can make a difference."

She added: "It's more than just about Pembrokeshire County Council, if we really want to make a difference.

"I don't have absolute faith that those who are going to be doing this [child practice] review will be able to do it to the best of their ability."

'Progress' made

Mr Drakeford insisted that child safeguarding boards were "independent by their nature" and included members not employed by social services.

"There has been a whole series of independent voices who have been present there in Pembrokeshire and have reported on the progress that that local authority has been able to make in the time since this death took place," he said.

"I'm sorry that the member doesn't have confidence in the safeguarding board.

"It seems premature to reach that conclusion before anyone of us has even had an opportunity to read the report that they will produce."

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