A high court judge has criticised Liverpool council over its “atrocious” treatment of a severely traumatised girl with autism who injured nine nurses on an NHS ward.
The 15-year-old, identified as R, was said to have post-traumatic stress disorder from living in a war zone in Iraq for several years.
The girl had been at Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool for several months while the city council tried to find her a long-term care placement.
The judge, Mr Justice Hayden, was told she came across a shrine to Alfie Evans – the toddler who died at the hospital from a brain disease in April – and it triggered a “breakdown and assault” of Alder Hey staff.
Nine nurses and a security guard were injured during the incident, which resulted in six staff members having to take sick leave and another resigning.
Michael Mylonas QC for Alder Hey Children’s NHS foundation trust told the judge her condition “has been exacerbated precisely because of her treatment by social services”. He said R became “fixated” on thinking she would die at Alder Hey after seeing Alfie’s shrine in the hospital’s grounds.
Hayden said the failure to find the girl an appropriate placement was causing her harm and “actually preventing sick children from being treated”.