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Baby P report slams healthcare

PUBLISHED: 14:55 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:10 07 September 2010

Charlotte Newton HEALTH professionals in Haringey saw Baby P 35 times before his death, a report published today reveals. The Care Quality Commission published its findings today, which reveal health professionals failed to raise the alarm, even when they

Charlotte Newton

HEALTH professionals in Haringey saw Baby P 35 times before his death, a report published today reveals.

The Care Quality Commission published its findings today, which reveal health professionals failed to raise the alarm, even when they suspected the 17-month-old boy was being abused.

It is the first time the NHS in Haringey has come under scrutiny over Baby P's death since his abuse came to light.

Among the concerns highlighted in the report were poor communication between health professionals, social workers and police. Child protection training of health professionals was deemed in many cases to be inadequate; there were chronic staff shortages; and long delays between Peter's referrals being made and him being seen.

Cynthia Bower, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: "This is a story about the failure of basic systems. There were clear reasons to have concern for this child but the response was simply not fast enough or smart enough. The NHS must accept its share of the responsibility."

Baby P, now referred to as Peter, was on the "at risk" register at Haringey Council. He died on August 3 2007, after suffering eight months of sadistic abuse at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

The report focuses on the four trusts which treated Peter 35 times before he died. The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust escapes criticism because investigators concluded that a child protection doctor took the appropriate action when they found non-accidental bruising on Peter, in December 2006.

But Haringey Teaching Primary Care Trust (TPCT), the North Middlesex University Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH) which provides paediatric services for the two trusts - have all been fiercely criticised.

All three trusts have apologised and said they had already started improving procedures.

For the full list of recommendations on Haringey's health services in relation to child protection; and responses from the trusts involved, see tomorrow's Ham&High Broadway.


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