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London borough withdraws foster care threat in hospital care plan row

The London Borough of Croydon has withdrawn a threat to take a sick child into care because her parents rejected a hospital’s proposed care plan.

Parents of 11-year-old Melody Driscoll were told she would be taken into foster care because they had disagreed with a doctor who her mother said: “Informed me that if I didn’t consent to them removing Melody’s medications they would take me to court to remove my parental rights so they could do it”.

A Just Giving page, set up to raise money for legal proceedings, said the parents had lost confidence in King’s College Hospital and believed the treatment it proposed would be detrimental.

Croydon said in a statement this week: “We apologise to Melody and her family for the distress this situation has caused.

“The local authority always has to put the child at the centre of our thinking and these cases are always extremely complex and very difficult, especially when there are differing medical opinions.

“We cannot comment in detail on individual cases but we will be working closely with the family to find the best way forward.” 

Mark Smulian

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