Probe after Dummy Taped to Baby's Face at British Hospital
A criminal investigation is under way after a baby was found with a dummy, or pacifier, taped to his face while being treated in hospital, British police said Friday.
The four-month-old boy, who had been born 11 weeks premature, had been taken to Stafford Hospital, in central England, with breathing problems, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.
Staffordshire Police said its officers were at the "very early stages" of investigating a complaint about the treatment of a four-month-old boy earlier this month.
The trust which runs the hospital, that is already at the center of an inquiry into serious failings, said it had apologized to the family and suspended one member of staff pending the outcome of the police investigation.
In a statement released Friday, the trust's director of nursing and midwifery Colin Ovington said: "One of our recent incidents involved a dummy that was found taped on to a baby's face.
"Fortunately, the baby was unharmed."
"We cannot emphasize strongly enough that this incident is exceptional and apologize again to the family," he added.
The baby's grandmother, Diane Denning, 69, told the Daily Mail: "I am furious. How can a human being do this to an innocent, defenseless baby? To my mind, this is nothing less than torture."
A public inquiry is ongoing into standards of care at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009, with the findings due to be published next month.
A damning report by a healthcare regulator in 2009 revealed a catalogue of serious failings at the trust while a separate inquiry the following year said the hospital "routinely neglected patients".