Dent: 'Health workers knew I was a drug user ... they didn't help me'
HEALTH workers knew that Sally Dent was using heroin and crack cocaine while on a methadone prescription.
Dent became addicted to heroin at the age of 16 and began a methadone programme before her son, Riley Pettipierre, was born.
The 33-year-old mother told a jury that people providing her with methadone were aware that she was still using class A drugs.
She said that, when she became pregnant, they advised her to reduce her heroin and crack cocaine use slowly so as not to harm the baby.
And she said that when she gave birth to Riley in November 2009, officials were aware she was a drug user. In court, Dent told prosecutor Yvonne Coen: "When I was in hospital and gave birth to Riley, nobody came to help me and they knew I was a drug user.
"The hospital should have rung them (social services) to tell them but nobody did that."
Also, the court heard Dent was required to undergo regular tests for heroin and cocaine, which on occasions gave positive results. Her methadone prescription was never stopped.
The Derby Telegraph has put questions to the health authorities about what their policies were about informing social services about women who used Class A drugs and became pregnant or had children.
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the city and county PCT all said they did not want to comment in view of the pending Serious Case Review report due later this month.
In court, extracts from Riley's health records were read out, saying he was regularly reviewed by health workers, which included home visits.
They said he was developing normally and that he had had the usual ailments.
In every case, his "parents sought appropriate medical advice".
The report of the post-mortem examination described Riley as a "well-nourished" boy, whose weight was above average for a child of his age.
No marks, which indicated violent treatment, were found on Riley's body.