DOCTORS and social carers did not realise a child was being neglected until they were admitted to hospital seriously underweight, according to a newly released report.

The home-schooled child, named only as Child K to protect their identity, was admitted to hospital in 2016, and medical assessment showed at the time 'that without medical intervention there was a significant risk' to their life.

The serious case review, published this week by the Oxfordshire Child Safeguarding Board also found that the 'fragmented' nature of care given to Child K meant no one had picked up on their problems at home earlier.

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Review author Jane Wonnacott also wrote that Child K was living in a house with 'extremely poor' living conditions, including 'no hot water or heating'.

Child K had been home-schooled since the age of four. Their mother said she had taken them out of formal education because K had a chronic constipation problem which had not been managed by the school properly.

Social care and medical professionals had been aware of K since 2008 after they stepped in to help with their sibling at the time.

But despite 'regular contact' with health professionals due to their constipation problem, Dr Wonnacott's report said no one person had taken responsibility for monitoring K's needs.

K had also missed doctor's appointments due to their mum finding it hard to cope with family circumstances

It was only in 2016 when K's mother took them to a GP with worries about bowel problems and weight that alarm bells started to ring.

At the time K weighed only 39kg, with a BMI of 14.8, which is below the normal range between 18 and 24.

The GP made arrangements for K to be urgently taken into hospital, hand delivering a letter to K's mum which said social services would be informed if she did not take the child to the paediatric ward.

After being taken to hospital, K was given police protection and later placed in the care of Oxfordshire County Council.

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Dr Wonnacott also wrote: "It was fortuitous that the right medical intervention was given to Child K in order to prevent a fatal outcome" and said a new 'children’s continence service' pathway for Oxfordshire was needed to prevent similar problems.

The report was only published this year because of a Thames Valley Police investigation, which has now concluded without criminal charges.

Derek Benson, independent chairman of the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board said an interim report produced in 2018 had led to changes which would prevent similar situations from happening again.

Mr Benson added: “The recommendations have been accepted and acted upon by all the organisations involved, ensuring more effective across-agency working is now in place.”