A HEALTHCARE worker has admitted poisoning a baby at hospital and making it “considerably ill”.

The woman admitted administering a poison or other noxious substance to the four-month old with intent.

The Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust employee, who previously lived in Basingstoke, appeared at Southampton Crown Court for sentencing.

The 35-year-old admitted that over a three-month period she unlawfully and maliciously administered Lactulose, with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy.

The infant was first submitted to Basingstoke Hospital with diarrhoea symptoms last year.

The infant was then transferred to Southampton where they underwent a number of intrusive procedures in an effort to resolve the symptoms.

The hospital arranged to undertake some stool tests in September, which revealed that Lactulose - medication used to treat constipation - was present in the stools at a concentration 100 times higher than would be expected naturally.

Lactulose is a powerful laxative available from pharmacies and WhatsApp messages verified the woman had purchased the laxative.

Mr Afzal, the specialist who treated the child, reports that the baby is unlikely to have long term physical health problems but that ‘should not diminish’ the recognition of the ‘significant harm’ they suffered for many months.

The Crown Prosecution Service noted that the woman’s medical records indicated hypochondria - a condition in which a person is excessively and unduly worried about having a serious illness. It was also noted she displayed attention seeking tendencies.

The prosecution accepted the woman did not intend to cause permanent injury to the child, but that said she did intend to cause sufficient effects, by prolonging diarrhoea, that would cause the infant to remain hospitalised.

Judge Peter Henry sentenced her to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered her to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.