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Health visitor struck off after failing to recognise baby’s broken arm

Posted in: Arm Injury Birth Injury Medical Negligence 

A health visitor working for Cambridgeshire Community Services has been struck off after failing to recognise that a baby in her care had a broken arm. Despite the mother of the baby raising concern over worrying bruising that had appeared on her baby’s arm, Deborah Kendall failed to carry out any examination and failed to recognise the breakage.

The mother and her baby had been under the care of Ms. Kendall since March 2011 – who was based near Ely at the time – and had around 35 years of experience as a health care professional. It was revealed at a Nursing and Midwifery Council conduct hearing that despite the mother’s complaints of bruising that appeared on her baby’s arm at night. Ms. Kendall failed to carry out any medical examination, and she also admitted to making “inadequate notes” of the appointment.

“Heavy case load”

A spokesperson for Ms. Kendall, Louise Price, said that Ms. Kendall had “deep remorse” about failing to recognise the baby’s injury and “had not sought to blame others or detract from her own responsibilities”.  Ms. Kendall’s defence told the panel that she did have a “heavy case load” at the time of her failure, but that she takes full responsibility for her actions.

Despite her apologies, the panel concluded that regardless of her busy schedule, she had but the baby at “unwarranted risk of harm” and that she failed to comply with the basic procedures and responsibilities of a health visitor.

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