Leicester

Chances missed to help Leicester baby injured by mother

A baby girl was severely brain damaged at the hands of her mother after health experts missed several opportunities to intervene, a serious case review found.

The Leicester girl, known only as Baby Z, suffered fractures to her skull, ribs and legs.

A serious case review found GPs and health visitors failed to refer the case to children's services when they suspected the injuries were deliberate.

The mother admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was deported to India.

Baby Z, who turns two later this week, is "severely visually impaired" by her injuries, takes food through a tube, cannot walk, crawl or stand and has no use of her left hand.

Blue rash

David Jones, independent chairman of the Leicester Safeguarding Children Board, said all staff involved were correctly trained and the right policies had been in place.

But he added: "The review found there were missed opportunities when a referral to social services could have been made, which would have led to further assessment of the child and possibly to a safeguarding investigation."

Baby Z was seen by health visitors when she was six months old and her mother pointed out a blue rash, marks, spots and red blotches on the baby's back.

They were sent to a GP who later discussed the marks with the health visitor and, despite considering they were potentially bruises, decided not to make a referral, instead opting for a follow-up appointment.

The safeguarding board said at this point children's services should have been informed.

The review also found there was a missed opportunity when a student health visitor, who saw the baby, asked a tutor if a referral should have been made, but this did not happen.

In September, the mother was jailed for two-and-a-half years. She was later deported.

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