Newborn baby girl abandoned outside flat

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The Independent Online

Children discovered a newborn baby abandoned in a carrier bag outside a flat as they left for school today.

Police urgently want to trace the little girl's mother after she was discovered in Brixton, south London.

The baby was found outside a third-floor flat in Winterslow House, Flaxman Road, just before 8.30am.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the baby was taken to King's College Hospital for checks and is in good health.

He said: "The baby girl was wrapped in a blue blanket and inside an old blue re-usable Tesco carrier bag.

"She was immediately taken to a south London hospital for assessment. The baby, which is black or Asian, was born within the last 24 hours and is in good health.

"It is believed the baby was left outside the address after 4.20am this morning, as the occupant had returned from working a night shift at that time."

Officers have contacted GPs and social services to try to identify potential new mothers. House-to-house inquiries are also under way and CCTV footage is being reviewed.

Inspector Simon Rooke, from Lambeth Police, said: "I would like to stress to anyone who hears this appeal, in particular the mother, that they should not hesitate to call us.

"We are concerned for the welfare of the mother and want to ensure that she is receiving the appropriate medical attention.

"All information will be treated with sensitivity and in the strictest confidence. We can be contacted on 0300 123 1212, or if to request immediate medical assistance please call 999."

Hospital staff have decided to call the baby Grace while they care for her.

Police said she had recovered from her spell outside with no long-term damage and was now drinking milk.

Inspector Simon Rooke said: "She was very, very cold but, due to the speedy discovery by these children, she was brought to hospital very quickly and treated."

He said the mother could be suffering both physically and mentally.

"We may be looking at heavy blood loss and the sooner we can locate her the sooner she can get medical help.

"I would ask her to please contact us as soon as possible. We are most concerned about her welfare at this time."

He said the baby was found on the third floor of the block of flats in a doorway but house-to-house inquiries in both that block and neighbouring properties resulted in no leads.

He said officers were preparing a leaflet to distribute throughout the local area and would examine CCTV but said he could not say whether the mother was local.

He said the children who discovered the baby were "pleased to have helped".

He added that, when they discovered the bundle, baby Grace was crying but he said it was not the sound of crying that alerted them to her.