Police are investigating after a four-month-old baby boy was found to have a dummy taped to his face at a scandal-hit hospital.
The infant, Mason Fellows, was born 11 weeks premature and was taken to the hospital after suffering breathing difficulties, according to the the Daily Mail.
The paper added the baby was taken to intensive care where it is claimed a nurse used tape to force a pacifier into his mouth to prevent him crying.
His parents were named as Sarah Fellows and her boyfriend Lee Denning, 39. Grandmother Diane Denning, 69, from Cannock, Staffordshire, told the paper: "I am furious. How can a human being do this to an innocent, defenceless baby? To my mind, this is nothing less than torture."
Staffordshire Police said they were in the early stages of an investigation into the baby's treatment at Stafford Hospital, which is at the centre of a public inquiry into serious failings of care. The trust which runs the hospital has apologised to the family of the baby, who was not injured in the incident.
In a statement issued by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, its director of nursing and midwifery, Colin Ovington, said: "We have a zero tolerance approach to poor patient care and we take immediate, appropriate action as soon as we know about any potential serious incidents which happen in our hospitals.
"One of our recent incidents involved a dummy that was found taped on to a baby's face. Fortunately, the baby was unharmed."
Mr Ovington added: "The incident is under investigation by the police and so we are unable to give any more information at the moment. A member of staff has been suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation and the trust's investigation under our disciplinary policy.
"We cannot emphasise strongly enough that this incident is exceptional and apologise again to the family. We want other hospitals to learn from this incident so that we can be sure that it does not happen to any other baby."
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: "Officers from our Protecting Vulnerable People Department are at the very early stages of investigating a complaint concerning the treatment of a baby boy by a member of staff at Stafford Hospital earlier this month.The baby boy, who was four months old at the time, was not harmed as a result. We are liaising closely with his family and the NHS trust concerning the matter."