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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 08:40 GMT
MP's anger over baby death report
Andrew Randall
Andrew Randall was jailed for life in March 2007
Health bosses should take responsibility for the murder of a baby by her father, an MP has said.

Jessica Randall was killed when she was 54 days old in 2005 by her father Andrew, who also sexually abused her. He was jailed for life in March 2007.

A report into the death, in Kettering, Northamptonshire, concluded care workers, who visited Jessica 30 times, had failed to identify her as at risk.

Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, complained of "lack of accountability".

Northamptonshire Teaching Primary Care Trust confirmed Jessica died after 30 members of staff at Kettering General Hospital and the trust had failed to begin child protection procedures.

Concerns not recorded

However, the Safeguarding Children Board for Northamptonshire report, released on Wednesday, said no individual doctors or health workers were to blame for the failure to register Jessica as a child at risk of abuse.

The report said it was the process through which children were reported as being at risk that had failed. This was despite finding that a doctor at Kettering General Hospital suspected Jessica was being abused but never recorded the concerns in medical notes.

If it is the case that no one individual care worker was responsible... it should be the senior managers in charge of the systems and processes who should be taking the rap
Philip Hollobone MP

Mr Hollobone said: "I think the public will be amazed that the report has concluded that no individual was responsible, but if that is the case then those in charge of the processes, those in charge of the organisations, need to step up and take responsibility.

"All too often these reports blame collective failure but no one's job seems to be on the line and there's a huge problem with the lack of accountability in the way vulnerable children are looked after.

"If it is the case that no one individual care worker was responsible, if that is the case, then it should be the senior managers in charge of the systems and processes who should be taking the rap for the fact that these signs weren't picked up."

Process failed

Shaun Kelly, safe-guarding manager for NCH - The Children's Charity, said: "Protocols and procedures alone cannot be relied upon. It's essential that staff receive on-going training, management and support, particularly around safe-guarding issues."

Jessica suffered a series of injuries at the hands of her father, including broken ribs and a fractured skull.

The hospital said it had now trained its 2,000 staff on how to spot cases of child abuse.

Dr Brendan O'Malley, medical director at the hospital, said: "The report was not a whitewash.

"We looked very carefully at it and we really considered that it was the processes that were remiss."

Randall, then 33, of Havelock Street, in Kettering, was jailed for life after admitting murder, causing grievous bodily harm and four counts of sexually abusing Jessica.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Jessica Randall's father was convicted of her murder last year



SEE ALSO
Agencies 'failed' murdered baby
13 Feb 08 |  Northamptonshire
Life for father who murdered baby
13 Mar 07 |  Northamptonshire
Father murdered his baby daughter
15 Nov 06 |  Northamptonshire

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