19 October 2014
Murder: Serious case review into baby’s death in Peterborough
Bosses at the Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board (PSCB) have been asked to ensure information is available in foreign languages following the murder of a Lithuanian baby.
Safeguarding bosses in Peterborough have asked for assurances translation services at the Bretton hospital are available for patients who speak foreign languages.
The call came after the death of Aukse Medvedevaite who was less than two months old when she was murdered by her father, Aurimas Medvedevas (23) at their home in Clifton Avenue, West Town, Peterborough on 5 September 2014.
In their review of the case, published this week, the PSCB said: “The PSCB should seek reassurance from the Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that key information is available, and is distributed, in the main languages which correspond with the population mix in its catchment area.”
The report said all the documentation given to Aukse’s mother, Dzesika Urbikaite, was in English, which she found difficult to understand, and no interpreter was ‘engaged’ during her interaction with health professionals.
Sam Hunt, Named Nurse for Safeguarding Children at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our antenatal clinic teams are clear on the need to offer both interpreters and translated patient information to women if they suspect this would have a greater benefit, even to those women and their partners who speak a fairly reasonable standard of English.”
The report said the death of Aukse could not have been predicted by any agency, and midwife and GP services given to the baby and her mother, was appropriate.
The report added when Aukse arrived at accident and emergency on the day of her death, the ‘immediate procedures, emergency response, and support for the family were all carried out in an appropriate and professional manner.’
Communication with police important
Along with raising issues about translation, the report also said: “The PSCB should seek clarification that Police and other agencies are notified as soon as possible in regards to all Sudden Unexpected Childhood Deaths and that there is no practice or procedure which could potentially create a delay in making such a referral.”
Sam Hunt said: “We are reviewing our procedures around Sudden Unexplained Childhood Deaths and will work with our frontline staff to ensure they are made fully aware of any changes.”
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police added: “We welcome the publication of the serious case review and will be working with partner agencies to ensure its recommendations are carried out.”
Aurimas Medvedevas was given a life sentence, and told he would serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars after admitting the murder of his defenceless baby.
A court heard Aukse had suffered injuries comparable with a car crash in a brutal assault.
He originally denied murder, but part way through a trial at the Old Bailey in London made the dramatic guilty pleas.