Careful Staff Thwarts Hospital Baby Abduction

When a young couple turned up at world-renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on Monday, they said that they had come to collect their child from the neo-natal unit.

great ormond street hospital

The pair – a 31 year old man and a 26 year old woman – told staff that their baby had been born at 21 weeks in nearby Whitechapel at the Royal London Hospital on March 1st. As “proof” they showed staff a photo of their baby in an incubator, believed to be a “screen grab” printed from the internet.

The careful staff checked with Royal London Hospital for premature babies born there on that date, but found no records and alerted the police who arrived on-scene and arrested the couple on suspicion of conspiracy to abduct a child.

The couple has been booked and released on bail pending an April court appearance, with the condition that they do not enter any hospital unless they are suffering from a medical emergency.

This incident comes a year after the Royal London Hospital was instructed to improve security on the maternity ward following an inspection by the health watchdog. That Quality Care Commission found that some of the babies in the nursery there had no name tags, and staff demonstrated a “lax” approach to regularly checking them. Some of these staff members were also unaware of the hospital’s baby abduction policy, and there were not enough midwives on duty to provide safe cover for the infants.

Following release of the report, the trust in charge of the hospital (Barts Health) introduced new policies to resolve the security issues.

A spokesperson for Great Ormond Street Hospital said “Thankfully, this kind of incident is extremely rare, but we are pleased that the staff acted swiftly and calmly to ensure the safety of all of our patients.”


About the author


Vicki Clinebell is a former television advertising executive who spent 25+ years with an ABC television affiliate in sales and marketing. A journalism major in college at the University of Colorado/Boulder, she now writes for a variety of online and print publications and provides blog content for clients including retail businesses and artists. The diversity of subject matter appeals to her, whether she’s reporting on the latest trends in baby gear, highlighting stories about outdoor adventures, or explaining basic pet-care tips. Even better, she says, is the shorter work commute… just down the hall, and a dress code that’s changed from suits and heels to jeans and a sweatshirt.

1 Comment

  • They couldn’t come up with a more believable lie? If a 21 week baby somehow survived, it would not be coming home less than 2 weeks later.

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