Social services probe after baby’s tragic death in Buckingham

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The tragic death of a 13-month-old boy in Buckingham could spark a Baby P-type scandal among social workers and health officials.

The child, known only as Baby M, died last week after his teenage mum allegedly left him in a high chair while she accidentally fell asleep.

Unlike the Baby P case, there is no suggestion that physical harm had ever been inflicted upon the baby, say sources.

But the young mum was under the care of Milton Keynes Council social workers and living in a flat in Buckingham provided through social services.

She was receiving a care package from specialist children’s social workers.

The mum, who fell pregnant at the age of 15, was also being supported by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, a voluntary home nurse programme and a children’s centre.

She had previously been under the care of MK Council and has spent time in mum and baby foster home placements.

A source said: “With all this support and professional help in place, it is incredible a tragedy like this was allowed to happen. There will have to be a thorough investigation and it is very likely that heads will roll.”

Already Baby M’s death has been referred to an independent safeguarding investigator at MK Council. It will also be scrutinised by a ‘serious case review’ group over the next few weeks.

Police are looking at the case after a post mortem found the cause of death to be inconclusive.

Sources say the mum had put Baby M into the highchair in front of the television, with a blanket wrapped round him to keep him warm, when he woke up in the morning at 7am.

It is understood the mum then fell asleep herself. She woke up to find Baby M floppy and unresponsive.He was taken by air ambulance to John Radcliffe hospital and pronounced dead.

A council spokesman this week refused to comment on the circumstances of the death, which happened on January 18.

But council leader Pete Marland said: “This is a tragic event. The cause of the child’s death is not confirmed and it would be inappropriate for me to comment until we have more information.

He added: “All child deaths are considered by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and this death has been referred to the independent chair of that Board, who will work with all agencies involved to decide what level of review is required.

“We need to establish the facts of this tragedy and understand what happened, and I can assure people Milton Keynes Council will play any part required of it, open and honestly.”

Police have confirmed they are investigating but say the death is not thought to be suspicious at this time.