Baby C’s Medical Notes from Yarl’s Wood – Telling Their Own Story.

In case you can’t read the writing in the scanned copies of the notes at the bottom of the page, I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting some of what’s been recorded…

Please note the blanked statements are discussions on mother’s medical condition and references to immigration and vaccination procedures. No treatment to Baby C has been blanked out. I have also added in detail that was recorded at the time, and sent out to various supporters and medical personnel such as Medical Justice doctors who were trying to support the family.

27/05/08 Baby C, 8 weeks old, detained at Yarl’s Wood.
Notes clearly show baby is fit and healthy, and has never had a day’s illness in her life.
28/05/08 Weight 6.1 kgs
Chest clear
Streak of blood in mucous
03/06/08 triage – Mum reports vomiting after bottle feeding, can be 3-4 times a day. Also has been having blood coming from right, very thick blood red in colour, advised review with GP tomorrow. (note – mother reports blood from nostril, as notes do not state where bleeding is from)
04/06/08 green discharge from nostril
Mum said had also blood streaks
Given ointment locally
06/06/08 Diarrhoea and vomiting
Napie changed, and pooh – semi soft and yellow
Dioralyte X 2 sachets and advised to push fluids
Mother reports that on night of 07/06/08, she ran out of Dioralyte, and went to the office at midnight, to request Dr to see Baby C, who was still having vomiting and diarrhoea. Request was denied by guard (D.C.O.) on duty, who stated no doctor would be called, and to wait and see nurse the following afternoon, and to go back to room and feed baby boiled water, as she, the guard, had done, with her own babies.
08/06/08 Diarrhoea and vomiting
dehydration Child looks well
Push fluids
Dioralyte X 2 sachets
Do note that this means that 4 sachets of Dioralyte have been given to baby over 3 days. (Although Mum reports she was given 2, then 3, making it a total of 5 over the three days.) Not nearly enough to keep a baby that size hydrated on its own. Also, that no weighing had taken place, even although baby has now been reported to have D&V for nearly a week. Also, no report is made of how mother was advised to make up and administer the sachets. Also look at the fact that how the child looks is the test of her health. How the child looks, in terms of alertness and interaction, is an important factor in assessing health. But one would imagine it comes after basic diagnostic tools such as looking at weight gain and nappy output, not in replacement of them.
It is important to note, that from this point in, the notes do not reflect that from 10/06/08, I was supplying mother with night time feeds of sterile UHT formula packs, in respect of the fears over YW night time procedures for safe prep of formula.
Paediatric advice from outside YW, had suggested that Baby C might now be suffering from secondary lactose intolerance, as a result of the repeated bouts of gastro. Therefore sterile packs were being taken in during visits, etc, to help minimise further risk from contaminated formula. Mother subsequently reported that Baby C did not vomit on being fed the sterile packs, but diarrhoea continued. Vomiting occurred when fed from the powdered stocks held at YW.
Mother also supplied with anti-bacterial hand soap during visits, and sudacrem and kinder wipes to stave off nappy rash from the diarrhoea.
13/06/08 triage - states child has had diarrhoea for past week
stools look relatively normal
looks hydrated
Mum states she has vomited x 1 today
For review by GP tomorrow.
Leaflets were handed to the mother, in visits, on the need for absolutely scrupulous hygiene on making up powdered infant formula. Mother stopped using made up bottle for more than one feed, which is endemic at YW due to formula being locked away and needing to queue and sign for it.
14/06/08 Having loose motions 2 times yesterday 3 times
child – playful
Not dehydrated
Advice – Dioralyte, normal feed, left nostril normal
To weigh
As visits continue, I notice that Baby C is starting to lose body fat, although does look very well cared for and well hydrated. Mother states feeding is problematic, and she is worried by changes in skin tone in Baby C and rougher skin on her legs etc. Mother expresses her disgust with being ignored by medical staff, and, worryingly, states she is no longer going to report problems and ask for help, as they ignore her every time.
19/06/08 Call from wing. Mother states Baby C has had D&V x 1 week. Vomiting all night allegedly, mother did not contact (Detention Custody Officers) as she felt no-one would see Baby C.

Diarrhoea 5 x also vomiting x 2
dehydrated, running nose.
Mother says feeding okay (breast-feeding)
Stool sample, Dioralyte, dietary advice
See Dr if D&V persists or anything if worse (lethargic/poor feeding).
Please note – Baby C was not breastfed. Baby C has never been breast-fed, and mother has been advised not to by NHS consultants due to medical condition. This medical condition clearly mentioned in notes. Yet this YW medical staff member, has recorded that mother has stated that baby is feeding okay at the breast. Which calls into question how accurate the reporting in the notes is. Baby has still not been weighed.
24/06/08 weight 6.48 kg
snuffly and Mum states still has D&V.
Bright and happy.
Snuffle baby overnight + GP review and fluids
25/06/08 DNA (doctor not available?) Triage
Please note that I visited Baby C on this day, and reported she was not well. I discovered that the UHT formula I’d sent on before the weekend, had not been handed over, and Baby C had therefore only had YW powdered formula for the past couple of days. At this point Borders Agency staff decided the sterile formula I have been taking in, was contraband under regulations, and no more would be accepted. In fact, in front of me, they delivered a pack of it to the mother, and came and took it away from her a few moments later. From this point on, Baby C was back on YW powdered formula alone.
26/06/08 triage, as above, did not receive GP appt although booked.
Snuffly – calpol + GP review
27/06/08 snuffles chest clear
child seems well hydrated
fluids/calpol see if worsens/improves
29/06/08 dark green colour diarrhoea, Mums says not passing urine in spite of drinking, advised to drink plenty to avoid dehydration, stool specimen requested
child snuffly.
30/06/08 chest crackles – bronchiolitis
gain 0.5 kg in one month
looking sleepy – lethargic
Notes to be referred urgently to Paediatrician today as having fly to West Africa on the 2nd of July.
Note that this is the first time Baby C has been assessed as needing to see a paediatrician, and the impetus is that she is due to be deported in two days. Also the weight gain according to the records, was less than this recorded, and had actually been done 6 days prior, but with no mention then of how this represented a massive drop in percentiles during her detention in YW.
30/06/08 Seen on return from hospital ? milk protein intolerance, milk changed to elemental formula
01/07/08 Worried for access to the new milk. Speak to XXX who is sourcing shop which sells the milk.
Please note that formula is prescription only, and requires a pharmacist to dispense. One wonders how much time was wasted trying to find the right ‘shop’? Chemist 1.9 miles from YW would supply as overnight order. Bedford Hospital, 3.7 miles from YW, had plenty in stock.
02/7/08 18.50 Informed by DCO that child had run out of elemental formula milk and asked what could be given until tomorrow when supplies should arrive from pharmacy. On call doctor contacted and situation explained, he advised boiled water with added sugar. SMA and Cow and Gate not recommended due to milk protein intolerance.
Please note that the above was recorded at 18.50 pm. This completely contradicts the reported sequence from UK Borders Agency, which states that extensive attempts were made to secure the formula from several out of hours chemists. Their letter also states the doctor on call, who never saw Baby C, stated to give either water and sugar, or Dioralyte. This is contradicted in the following, who state that staff in the centre, also said Dioralyte could be given.
02/07/08 20.00 Call from Dom (duty on call manager?) stating mother had contacted solicitor over the fact that milk given from hospital had run out and boiled water with sugar water advice. Advised by HCC day staff, Dioralyte could also be given. Mother requested this. Taken to Crane, mother asked me to speak to ‘Morgan’ a ‘dietician’ who discussed the need to give extra Dioralyte to ensure adequate nutritional input until arrival of milk. One box of 6 sachets given. DOM informed of above conversation.
Please note that this actually confirms my reported sequence of events at the time – that I was told there would be no looking for/fetching of the formula, as medical advice had been given just to give sugar water. Also, I did not, at any time state I was a ‘dietician’ – I never said a thing about who I was. The nurse asked the mother several times, who deflected and just asked her to speak to me, and when the nurse came on the phone I just went straight into asking her questions. I never made any statement about who I was. What I did say was that it was vital they did not ration the Dioralyte (as they had two weeks prior) and that they must leave Baby C and her Mum with more than enough for the entire night. This person actually asked me if she should leave ‘blackcurrant’ flavour or ‘lemon’. I said blackcurrant, as that’s the flavour Baby C had had two weeks prior. Mother also reported to me, at about 20.20, that she’d been left with x 2 boxes, not the one recorded here.
Baby C then went hungry until 1.05pm, on 03/07/08