3-month-old baby dies after family centre '˜incident'

POLICE are investigating the 'unexplained' death of a baby girl in Edinburgh.

Sunday, 5th June 2016, 5:55 pm
Updated Monday, 6th June 2016, 7:17 am
Strathbrock Family Unit in Broxburn, West Lothian

Sophia Williams died in hospital yesterday after falling ill at a homeless families’ facility in West Lothian last week.

The three-month-old was left in a serious condition after an incident at the Strathbrock family unit in Broxburn. Emergency services were called to the facility in the town’s West Mains Street last Monday. West Lothian Council said concerns were raised over the health of a child at the centre.

The infant had been taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston by ambulance before being transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh last Monday, when Police Scotland described her condition as “serious”.

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Chief inspector Stevie Dolan, the force’s area commander for West Lothian, said: “First and foremost, I wish to pass on my sincere condolences to Sophia’s family. This is an extremely tragic case and we are treating her death as unexplained at this time.

“I can, however, offer my personal reassurance that a thorough police investigation is now under way in order to establish the full set of circumstances that led up to her untimely passing.”

A spokeswoman for West Lothian Council said: “This is very sad news. We would like to give our sincere condolences to Sophia’s family.

“It is not appropriate to comment further.”

The local authority-run family unit where Sophia became unwell provides supported accommodation for families who have multiple and complex needs in the short- to medium-term.

Four years ago, there were calls for an inquiry to be held into the standards of care at the Strathbrock facility after a baby suffered 21 rib fractures while staying there with his parents.

The infant had been on the child protection register when the injuries occurred.

Doctors said “significant force” would have been needed to cause the rib and knee fractures, discovered when the child was admitted to hospital.

Opened in 2009, the unit consists of eight self-contained one-, two- and three-bedrooms flats with 24-hour housing support.

It also had accommodation which offers short overnight breaks for families of children and young people with learning and physical disabilities.