Kettering General Hospital bosses say they regret missing opportunities to escalate concerns about a couple who abused their five-week-old baby, leaving her with catastrophic injuries.
A serious case review published today revealed the hospital missed spotting two rib fractures to baby Isabelle, which would have taken her out of the care of Rocky Uzzell and Katherine Prigmore.
Director of nursing and quality Leanne Hackshall said: “The trust has been fully involved in the very detailed investigation into the health care and support that Child N received during the early weeks of her life and we profoundly regret the missed opportunities to escalate safeguarding concerns that have been identified by the investigation into this case.
“We have examined all of the interactions we had with her, and her parents, looking closely at all of the points in time where we could have acted differently and have put in place further improvements to our safeguarding procedures and training to further support staff in recognising the ‘at risk’ infant.
“We now have access to some specialist services that assist in the diagnosis of injuries in babies and children – namely the specialist reporting of paediatric radiology images with University Hospitals Leicester.
“We have an even stronger emphasis on sharing safeguarding concerns with our partners, ensuring these are on permanent record at an early stage.
“We have sought to learn every possible lesson raised by this case.
“Our aim has been to ensure our safeguarding systems are as robust as they can reasonably be in order to enable us to identify abuse at an early stage and protect vulnerable infants.”
An NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman said: “As outlined in the report, NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group will work with Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board and the hospital to review and develop an audit process to test the effectiveness of clinical practice in the identification of non-accidental injury.
“We will also ensure there is full clarity about how concerns should be shared and referred.”
Colin Peak, NSPCC’s Regional Head of Service for the East of England, said: “This was a particularly awful case in which a newborn baby was cruelly robbed of the ability to thrive and develop independence in a way that most adults take for granted.
“Opportunities to help her were missed and important information was not properly shared.
“While the couple found guilty of Child N’s death committed appalling crimes, effective communication and follow-up of non-accidental injuries may have prevented further abuse.
“Close scrutiny is now required to ensure all the review’s recommendations are implemented swiftly.
“We all have a duty to be alert to a child’s suffering and the NSPCC’s Helpline is available 24/7 on 0808 800 500 for anyone to report concerns.”