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North Middlesex Hospital apologises for role in Child T abuse case
A hospital has apologised for its role in a child abuse case that echoes that of Baby P.
North Middlesex Hospital has been embroiled in the case of 'Child T' - a youngster repeatedly sent back to his parents by Haringey Borough Council despite suffering extensive injuries.
According to a Serious Case Review, Child T, now aged six, was three years old when staff at North Middlesex Hospital first noticed that he had unexplained bruising in June 2010.
Over a period of eight months, Child T was taken to hospital at least three times and on one occasion he had more than 50 bruises on his body.
He had been beaten with a belt, stick and a cable.
The report was published days after a parole board ruled that Baby P's mother, Tracey Connelly, could be released from prison after serving four years behind bars.
Child T’s injuries were first spotted in 2010, three years after the death of 17-month-old Peter Connelly.
The new abuse revelations come 13 years after the death of Victoria Climbie, whom Haringey council also failed to protect.
The report, published by the Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board, revealed a number of missed opportunities to stop the abuse earlier.
Child T’s stepfather, a heroin user identified as Mr C, said the boy often ran around the house and banged and hit himself on the wall.
Police later visited the home but officers had “no concerns” about the child’s welfare or the home conditions with the mother and stepfather, who are originally from Poland.
At follow-up meetings, no decisions about how to proceed were taken by social workers and police child abuse experts.
Child T and his siblings were not removed from the care of the parents until 2011 - more than a year after the first incident of abuse came to the attention of doctors and social services.
Child T’s stepfather was sentenced to four years in prison in October 2011 for assaulting a young person under the age of 16 and is due to be deported.
The boy’s mother, identified only as Ms B, is understood to have returned to Poland.
The report said: "There is no sense of urgency in the action taken whilst Child T was an inpatient."
It identified disappointing input from other agencies and an administrative weakness in both local authorities.
The review also criticised the "lack of rigour" in the investigation by the police and Haringey's Children and Young People service.
It said there was an "overall failure to analyse the situation accurately."
One of the report’s key findings was that both Haringey’s Children and Youth Service and police responded inadequately to a strongly expressed medical view that the injuries were “inflicted injuries”.
It said: “Police were premature in terminating their involvement after one visit, when further medical evidence had been invited.”
Paul Reeves, the director for nursing at North Middlesex University Hospital, said protecting children from abuse is taken very seriously.
He said: "We are sorry that the child received further injuries after he was seen at the hospital.
"We take child protection extremely seriously and realised early on that it was likely that he was being abused.
“We contributed extensively to the serious case review and have already implemented the lessons learnt for our organisation.
“We will continue to work closely with all our partner agencies to protect vulnerable children."
Lynne Featherstone, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, urged Haringey council to conduct an “urgent investigation” into senior officials who handled the Child T abuse case.
She said: “I am deeply saddened and shocked at news of another failure to protect a child in Haringey.
“It’s the same story all over again and there needs to be an urgent investigation.”
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