Probe launched at nursery over claims boy broke his leg

Ashfield Nursery in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital.
Ashfield Nursery in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital.
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An investigation is underway at a South Tyneside nursery where it has been claimed a child broke his leg.

The Ashfield Nursery & ELC was rated inadequate in all areas by Ofsted inspectors during a recent visit, which was prioritised due to an accident in the play area.

Now, South Tyneside Council has confirmed they are looking into the issue.

A spokesman for the council said: “We received a call from a concerned parent earlier this month and in response the council commenced with an investigation, which is still ongoing.”

The Gazette reported earlier this week that Ofsted had criticised the nursery, which is in the grounds of South Tyneside General Hospital, over child safety issues.

In the report, which said leadership, teaching, development and outcomes are all inadequate, inspectors said: “Leaders and staff do not ensure the highest priority is placed on children’s safety and well-being.

He spent the next three weeks on a hospital bed

Father of injured tot

“Risk assessments do not swiftly identify hazards within the environment. Staff are not vigilant in supervising children.”

They went on to say that although accident and incident procedures are in place, staff do not respond to accidents in a timely manner, which compromises the safety of the children.

The inspection was prioritised following concerns about an accident involving a child in the outdoor play area, where no risk assessment had previously been carried out on the piece of equipment, as previously reported by the Gazette.

Inspectors added: “Although the apparatus has since been removed, other risk assessments are weak and are not monitored to prevent further accidents.”

The father of the child involved, who does not wish to be named, said his two-year-old son, who had been at the nursery for 18 months, fell on outdoor play equipment.

He claimed when he took the boy to the hospital in terrible pain he was x-rayed and found to have a broken thigh bone.

The dad said: “He was then given morphine and taken to the RVI where he spent the next three weeks on a hospital bed, first in a Thomas splint to set the bone and then on traction.

“He came out of hospital last Monday, but is still unable to stand on his own or walk.

“The doctors have said it will be Christmas before he will be able to run again.

“The incident has obviously had a massive impact on him and us.

“When we saw the Ofsted report we were shocked by the size and scale of the problems.”

The Gazette contacted the nursery, but managers refused to comment on the situation.