PERFORMANCE: An eight month-old baby, who was taken to Northamptonshire General Hospital numerous times with life threatening injuries, was let down by authorities, a serious case review has found.
The infant, known as Child F, had been referred to doctors with marks and injuries on nine occasions.
On the second occasion, a diagnosis of acute haemorrhagic oedema in infancy (AHOI) was made, according to the review published by Northamptonshire’s local safeguarding children board last week.
The diagnosis influenced the outcome of all further referrals and assessments because AHOI was said to leave marks resembling bruising.
However, the review concluded the diagnosis of AHOI was probably wrong.
Child F was eventually made the subject of an emergency protection order. But the review found that, although children’s social care had undertaken three initial assessments, no core assessment was carried out until four months after Child F was in the care of the local authorities.
The review said collectively there was a failure by several agencies to protect the child from significant harm.
It concluded that safeguarding professionals should take a more proactive role in supervision or peer review when medical colleagues are dealing with cases involving the welfare of children, and that paediatric doctors needed training in safeguarding procedures.
NHS Northamptonshire, press release
16 May 2011