Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust was fined £200,000 after failing to take safeguarding action in a case that put four babies at “significant risk.”

The four young children were found to have non-accidental injuries, which had not been spotted in earlier admissions.

Sheffield Magistrates Court heard, the trust, which runs Rotherham General Hospital, had been repeatedly warned by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) about problems with its safeguarding training and other structural insufficiencies, before the admissions of the four babies between January 2019 and February 2020.

The children, who were all under six weeks old, were sent home after Rotherham General Hospital staff were inadequate in spotting these non-accidental injuries and taking safeguarding action.

A report in The British Medical Journal, said one of the children was brought to the UECC on Christmas Day 2019 with a mouth injury and breathing difficulties.

The report continued: “The mouth injury was recorded as a potential non-accidental injury, but no safeguarding concerns were reported, and the baby was discharged.

“On a second visit later that day, the baby had unexplained bruising on one arm and shoulder and redness to one eye. A body map identified nine different injuries.”

Eleanor Sanderson, on behalf of the trust, told the court: “The trust wishes to express to the court its deep regret for the circumstances which gave rise to these offences and the risk posted to those who required safeguarding. The trust accepts that its systems and processes were not operating effectively and not sufficiently embedded.”

Ms Sanderson highlighted the “truly challenging” circumstances the hospital was operating in, and told the court “a fine will further reduce funds available for direct patient care.”

Judge Redhouse, who acknowledged the trusts efforts to improve on these matters, said: “These were serious failures and there is no question that these issues had been part of previous inspections. The attempt to deal with them was simply not enough.”