Last month, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust was fined £200,000 due to a safeguarding incident that put four babies at “significant risk.”

Sheffield Magistrates Court heard, Rotherham General Hospital had failed to spot the non-accidental injuries in the four young children, all of whom were under six weeks old, and take the correct safeguarding action.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said they had identified problems with the trust’s safeguarding training long before the admissions of the four babies between January 2019 and February 2020.

Angela Clark, on behalf of the CQC, told us: “CQC identified these concerns by inspecting the trust. We undertook inspections in 2018, 2016 and 2015. In each inspection we identified issues in systems and processes and/or safeguarding training, and/or safeguarding supervision to ensure patients were safeguarded from the risk of abuse. We have used our powers, including enforcement action, to require the trust to act to make improvements.   

“Regulations 12 and 13 require providers to have effective systems to ensure patients receive safe care and treatment and are safeguarded from the risk of abuse and improper treatment. These are the fundamental standards of care and as the regulator for health and social care, we hold providers these standards at all times.

“CQC identified that the failure resulting in the prosecution for failures which were the responsibility of the registered provider (the Trust).”

Although, the court acknowledged the “truly challenging” circumstances the hospital has been operating in, the trust was still fined a significant £200,000.

Dr Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, told the Echo: “On behalf of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, I unreservedly apologise for the deficiencies in how the Trust safeguarded children from the risk of harm in 2019 and early 2020.

“The court focussed on failures in our policies, training and oversight of safeguarding and we fully accept the findings of the court. It’s important to note that the court was clear that the failings were not the result of actions of clinical staff and that no child came to harm as a result of the failings.”

Helen Dobson, Chief Nurse, said: “Since 2019, the Trust has made extensive changes to our children’s safeguarding processes. Robust action has been taken to improve policies, training and oversight, with the introduction of a range of initiatives including safeguarding huddles, closer partnership working within our teams and with Rotherham partners.”