Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 16:40 UK

Social workers back in hospital

Peter Davies
Mr Davies began his mayoral duties this week

The newly-elected mayor of Doncaster is to reintroduce two children's social workers to the town's hospital.

Peter Davies said the staff would be moved from their council-based posts to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

His decision comes after Doncaster Council was investigated after seven children died through abuse or neglect over a five-year period.

Mr Davies said reintroducing the posts would help staff to identify potential child abuse cases.

"If you want to identify abuse cases then one of the places where you need the presence of social workers is the hospital," he said.

"It is wise to have someone who is not just looking at the injury but looking at the condition of the child generally, and the parents.

"I have decided that these two social workers will be reintroduced into Doncaster Royal Infirmary."

'Looking forward'

Mr Davies, who began his mayoral duties this week, said the staff had been withdrawn from the hospital "some time ago".

He said in his opinion, the decision to move them had been "a mistake".

The reintroduction of social work staff to the wards at the Infirmary's Children's Hospital form part of Mr Davies' manifesto commitments.

He has also announced he will will cut his annual salary from £73,000 to £30,000.

In March the government ordered a takeover of Doncaster children's services after seven children died as a result of abuse or neglect over five years.

A review found provision was "seriously weak" and ruled a new senior childcare management team be put in place.

As a result of the findings, Doncaster Council's mayor Martin Winter did not seek re-election. Mr Davies was elected as mayor on Friday.

"We are now looking forward," Mr Davies said. "We are trying to make sure such things don't happen again. Things will improve."

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