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Tip off led to mother who left baby

PUBLISHED: 08:18 07 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:08 03 March 2010

SOCIAL workers will today begin the process of deciding the future of a new-born baby abandoned in a hospital maternity unit after her mother was found by police.

SOCIAL workers will today begin the process of deciding the future of a new-born baby abandoned in a hospital maternity unit after her mother was found by police.

The woman, who has not been named, was traced to an address in Lowestoft on Saturday afternoon following a tip-off from former colleagues in Norwich who recognised her from CCTV pictures released by police.

She is now receiving specialist care and advice from social workers in Suffolk after walking out of the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston on Wednesday afternoon – just two days after 7lb baby Nadia was born.

Rosemary Claridge, assistant director children and families at Norfolk Social Services said mother and baby had not yet been reunited but staff were on hand to assess and support the woman, thought to be in her 20s.

Social workers will this week apply for an interim court order to clarify the legal position of the new-born baby, who is currently being cared for by foster parents in Norfolk.

Mrs Claridge said: "Should she wish to look after her baby social services will work together to assess all the circumstances of this case so that we can sure that the mother is able to cope and care for her."

Insp Martyn Hooton of Yarmouth Police said police received more than 40 calls from members of the public after releasing images of the young mother leaving hospital and they were given a name on Saturday morning.

"The mother was found alive, safe and well, in the Lowestoft area. She has had a medical check-up and is receiving as much support as possible from the relevant agencies," he said.

"I am extremely pleased with the response that we got. Despite numerous appeals for her to come forward she didn't. But it was as a result of information from members of the public that we were able to get an address."

The woman had dialled 999 from a public telephone in Lowestoft on New Year's Eve to say she needed to come into hospital to give birth, and an ambulance picked her up outside an hotel in the town.

But amid a crowd of visitors, no one noticed the mother saying goodbye to the child who had been born at 9.35pm on New Year's Eve and whom she had lovingly looked after on the ward.

Initial enquiries found the address in the Lowestoft area given to hospital staff when she was admitted did not exist and the mother had also falsely claimed to have a GP in Woodford Green.

Hospital staff were shocked when the mother disappeared on Wednesday because she appeared to have bonded well with her baby.

"She had started breastfeeding well and was looking after Nadia beautifully. There was absolutely no sign of her rejecting the baby," said hospital spokeswoman, Elayne Guest.

Workers at James Paget Hospital were yesterday said to be relieved that the mother had been traced and was receiving support.

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