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Stowmarket/Bury St Edmunds: Six-month-old vomiting baby is given milk which is more than five months out of date at West Suffolk Hospital

06:02 21 August 2014

Rosie Cox and Tom Palmer with their son Rufus Palmer. Rufus has just been in West Suffolk Hospital and during his stay was given baby milk that was more than five months out of date.

Rosie Cox and Tom Palmer with their son Rufus Palmer. Rufus has just been in West Suffolk Hospital and during his stay was given baby milk that was more than five months out of date.

West Suffolk Hospital has apologised after staff gave a six-month-old vomiting baby milk which was more than five months out of date.


Rosie Cox, 23, from Stowmarket, was left “shocked” and “distressed” when her son, Rufus, was given the milk at the Bury St Edmunds hospital on Monday night at around 10pm.

She and father Tom Palmer, 28, had been told by a GP to take him there for tests after a period of continuously vomiting.

“As part of these tests and observations, Rufus was given a 50ml bottle of Aptamil baby milk,” she said.

“After it was given to him, I noticed the bottle read that the milk was five months out of date. We had gone from worrying about the vomiting he had already been experiencing to a whole new problem which left us feeling helpless, panicked and all the more concerned for our baby.

“He was given the milk to see how he would react and then go home if he was ok.”

Rufus was taken to the children’s ward for observation while medics examined him to see if there had been any ill effects.

Miss Cox added: “The point of my complaint is that we place our absolute trust and the welfare of our child into the hands of the professionals who are supposed to help, not make matters worse. It also concerns me that the A&E department had even been storing milk that far out of date.

“It is extremely shocking and it left us worry stricken and in disbelief that this problem actually occurred.”

Rufus is now back at home after being discharged at around 2.30am on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for West Suffolk Hospital said the milk given to Rufus was heat sterilised and was not from a cow.

She said: “We are sorry that this incident occurred and would like to apologise to Rufus’ parents for any distress that it caused. We are pleased that Rufus has suffered no ill effects as a result.

“We will fully investigate what happened, and would like to reassure parents coming to the hospital in the future that we have already taken steps to make sure this error does not happen again.



  • How about thanking the staff for the medical treatment received, this country is full of selfish moaners feeding off the compensation culture!

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    Sunday, August 24, 2014

  • Chris B, I think you mean UHT. HRT stands for Hormone Replacement Therapy, now giving that to the poor child really would be a scandal! Besides which, you don't give cows milk to babies when they are less than one year old. Just relieved that young Rufus is okay now

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    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • the person most likley meant it was not fresh milk from a cow.

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    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • I had a excellent experience when having to go to West Suffolk Hospital from testing to eventually having to undergo an operation. This shouldn't have happened, but please do not let this one mistake ruin a great example of a caring NHS service.

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    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • Going to the press ensures public scrutiny which makes it far more likely that real changes will be brought around. I know from personal experience that complaining to West Suffolk Hospital privately is as effective as talking to a brick wall, the staff are either too busy to do anything about it, send you somewhere else or they just don't care.

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    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • Jeez, mistakes happen, you complain to the hospital, does everything need to become a newspaper story?

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    C Smith

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • So West Suffolk Hospital are under the impression that HRT milk does not come from a cow? Serious education needed here I think

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    Chris B

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • No win No fee!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Thursday, August 21, 2014

  • That stuff can be drunk years after its use by date, so at least they can be assured that their baby will not suffer because of this. Still, the hospital really needs to change procedures now, a simple inspection will suffice.

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    richie w

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

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