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Hospital criticised ahead of Baby P report

Baby Peter could have been saved if managers at a hospital where he was treated had listened to fears raised by senior doctors more than a year before the toddler’s death, a consultant paediatrician has claimed.

Dr Kim Holt, who worked at St Ann’s Hospital in Haringey, north London, said she and three colleagues wrote an open letter detailing problems at the clinic in 2006.

They claimed that the service, run by Haringey with doctors employed by Great Ormond Street, was understaffed and had a “chaotic” appointment system which was a risk to patients.

Dr Holt said: “There was a very chaotic system of making appointments, there were difficulties with notes always being available. We had problems with our secretarial support, in that we didn’t have enough.

“As consultant you carry the responsibility for children in your care, we weren’t really involved in any way in decision making in how the services were developed. That was making us increasingly concerned about risk to patients.”

NHS London is set to publish a report on complaints made by Dr Holt against Great Ormond Street on Tuesday.

In February 2007 she was advised to take a month off by her GP and has not returned to her job since.

A statement from the hospital said that the NHS London report would largely support their version of events.

It said: “We understand that this independent report, after a thorough investigation, finds that there was no bullying, and no specific targeting or victimisation of staff, around raising concerns, or any other matter.

“The report finds that substantial efforts were made by the PCT and Great Ormond Street Hospital to resolve the issues raised. It does make some measured criticisms around some aspects of process which we will act on and learn from. Broadly the trust feels this report supports its view of events. The issue of workload of course is largely a matter of funding, over which we have little control.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Disappointing but not surprising that the problem is put at the door of "the managers" and the way the clinic was organised and how Drs didn't have a say in this, rather than the important issue of how collectively we failed Peter, including medical staff.

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